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Breakdown (of Fats)

Breakdown (of Fats). The process whereby fats (q.v.) and oils (q.v.) undergo undesirable temperature-induced changes or deterioration, especially when exposed to frying (q.v.) temperatures, so that they ultimately become unsuitable for use in food processing. The changes include darkening, foaming, gum (q.v.) formation and formation of excess free fatty acids (q.v.).