TRANS-FATS are something high on the discussion list of the healthy, those trying to be healthy and those who are producing foods for us in a hopefully more healthy way or using better ingredients.

There is a great deal of science attached to trans-fats, but, simply, a trans-fat is an oil which has been hardened through hydrogenation to make an easier-to-use product, an example is some margarines. The problem arises with the alteration of some molecular structures during the hydrogenation process, making the trans-fat less digestible and leading to – yes, you have guessed it – an increase in coronary problems.

Food manufacturers are now being put under some pressure to show on the food label whether the foodstuff contains trans-fats – some of the pressure, incidentally, is homegrown as they are attempting to create a better product voluntarily.

So, when home baking, think: could butter be better than a vegetable substitute such as some margarines? The answer is probably yes – but we get back to the old nitty gritty of satured fats versus saturated fats and – yes – coronary disease. Another case for, a little of what you fancy – but only a little – does you good.