Recieve functional benefits with interesterified shortenings, oils
How does enzyme interesterified oil function differently in bakery foods than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil? ADM has found that in many baking applications, enzyme interesterification products perform as well if not better than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Enzyme interesterification does need some application work for extruded products.
What are the functional differences between palm oil and interesterified soybean oil? Enzyme interesterified products are similar to palm oil in functionality in some instances. Both products do not exhibit the plasticity commonly associated with partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
What is the nutritional profile of enzymatically interesterified soybean oil? How is this different from palm oil? This depends on the level of saturates needed for a particular application. Soy-based enzyme interesterified products are stearic rich and also are a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. In most cases, saturate levels for enzyme interesterified soybean oils are lower than their palm counterparts.
What will a label look like with interesterified soybean oil? What are the differences? The FDA has indicated that food manufacturers may declare the interesterified oil in the ingredient statement as “interesterified soybean oil.” Alternative descriptors may be added such as “high in stearic acid” or “stearate-rich.”
What are some future issues with fats/oils from a consumer and/or FDA standpoint? Nutrition will continue to be the emphasis with more of a focus toward childhood consumption of fats and oils. ADM believes that omega-3s and omega-6s will be the next area of prominence in fats and oils along with the nutritional quality (or fatty acid profile) of saturates.
For more information, contact Mike Rath at ADM at 217-424-5200 or visit www.admworld.com
Why all the buzz about trans-fatty acids? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as countless public interest groups, have named trans-fatty acids public enemy No. 1 in the fight to improve the health of Americans.
Why? Trans-fatty acids raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, and many nutritionists believe this type of fat is more dangerous than saturated fat.
What are trans fats? Trans fats are formed when liquid vegetable oil is made solid through hydrogenation. The hydrogenation process rearranges the hydrogen atoms so they appear on opposite sides of a chain of carbon atoms at the carbon-carbon double bond.
Why are these oils hydrogenated? Partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils provides high-volume bakeries with a solid shortening that can be modified for specific applications. The partial hydrogenation process allows bakers to use tailored shortenings with specific melting profiles. Other than the negative health aspects, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are a near-perfect ingredient because they can be tailored for specific applications.
What applications use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils? Unfortunately, the baking industry is one of the main users of these unhealthful oils. Trans-fats are found in a wide range of bakery foods, from cookies and crackers to cakes and pies.
When will new FDA labeling regulations be enacted? On Jan. 1, food manufacturers will have to label the trans-fat content of their products. Many bakeries already have made the labeling change.
Do trans fats have to be removed from bakery foods? No. Bakers can continue to produce bakery foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. However, once the new year comes, these harmful fats must be labeled.
Do consumers care about trans fats and will they even notice the label change?
Although it is impossible to gauge true consumer reaction until the labeling change occurs, there is a good chance that consumers are going to read labels and limit their trans-fat intake. The publicity surrounding trans fats is at an all-time high. Rarely does a week go by without a major news story about these harmful fats. Most recently, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene made headlines when it asked restaurateurs and food suppliers to voluntarily eliminate partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from their food supplies.
Are there alternatives to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils? Yes. However, most of the alternatives either lack the plasticity and functionality of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or increase the saturated fat content of bakery foods.
Replacing trans-fat filled shortenings and oils in bakery food formulas is not an easy task. In many applications, replacements cost millions of dollars and months of research and development. Simply put, drop-in solutions do not exist at this time. However, many solutions do exist and are being used by high-volume bakeries throughout the country.
What solutions are available? Many bakers use palm oil to eliminate trans-fatty acids in bakery food formulas. However, these oils increase the saturated fatty acid content of bakery foods, forcing bakers to decide which is the lesser of two evils: trans fats or saturated fats. Many bakers are living with increased levels of saturated fat to eliminate trans fats.
However, the battle against saturated fats is heating up. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently sent a letter to Michael Leavitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ secretary, expressing concern that palm oil usage was increasing because of new trans fat labeling regulations. The nonprofit organization urged Leavitt to ask manufacturers to reformulate without partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or palm oils.
Besides palm oils, what other solutions exist? Many trans-fat free shortenings are available, including various oil blends, such as palm oil and canola oil, and interesterified shortenings and oils. Oil blends allow suppliers to take plastic fats and blend them with oils to create a product with plasticity and a lower saturated fat content. However, the functionality and melting profiles of these oils prohibits their uses in certain applications. What are interesterified shortenings and oils? To create interesterified shortenings, soybean salad oil is blended with fully hydrogenated oil and then modified through enzymatic interesterification. This process allows bakers to tailor the melting profiles of shortenings for specific applications.
What other issues need to be considered before reformulating with trans-fat free shortenings and oils? Ensure that your shortening supplier is able to meet your supply needs. Many of these oils are relatively new to the market, which may create shortages.