Baking & Snack - June 2018 - 56
Cakes and icings rely
on fats for their aeration
as well as mouthfeel. A
fat's melt point will have
a definitive impact on the
mouthfeel of an icing.
As today's PHO alternatives offer better functionality, bakers' vision for their ingredients have widened.
While Columbus Vegetable Oils has developed many
new products from palm oil, interesterified oils, blending and animal fats, the company has also taken into
consideration demands outside the realm of function.
"These products have further evolved to include other
industry concerns and requirements such as to ensure
that shortenings are responsibly sourced and sustainable, domestically sourced, non-GMO, certified organic, kosher, halal, lower saturated fats or many others,"
said Rick Cummisford, director of quality, Columbus
Clean label is one trend that has rounded out the conversation. In addition to seeking a shortening that delivers function and finished product quality, some bakers
want it to be label-friendly. As a part of its Regal line,
Cargill's non-hydrogenated icing shortening checks
those boxes with a bright white color achieved without
any added whiteners.
With all eyes on trans fats, the nutritional impact of
these alternative shortenings could come under scrutiny, too. "When you can't get solid fat from trans fat
anymore, you're going to need more saturated fat in the
product," Mr. Kazier explained. Bakers concerned with
the nutrition label may be surprised that the saturate
fat level may go up. "There is a misunderstanding that
one could just remove the trans fat and the nutritionals would remain the same with respect to the saturate
level. Trans fat was a very functional component to the
shortening for structure, melting properties and functionality," he said. "When you take out the trans fat, you
56 Baking & Snack June 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com
have to replace it with something." Reducing that level of
saturated fat but maintaining plasticity is often an exercise in blending functional solid fats and less saturated
Bunge Loders Croklaan's saturate-sparing shortening
has not only no trans fat but also up to 50% less saturated fat than traditional palm oil shortenings, according to
Mark Stavro, senior director of marketing. Its PhytoBake
shortening also offers less saturated fat by replacing it
with phytosterols. This allows the shortening to deliver
the functional benefits of shortening with reduced saturated fat.
Today's PHO alternatives have branched out to include high-oleic oils and canola, sunflower and other
crop bases. "In recent years, we have seen improved
functionality in PHO alternatives, such as cleaner aromas and flavors in frying fats, longer shelf life with
high-oleic soy oils compared to standard soybean
oils, and wider plasticity ranges required for cake icings and laminated doughs," said Ben Brue, director of
dry ingredients at Dawn Foods. With so many options,
bakers can work with suppliers to customize the fat
for their products.
The lesson of customization
Probably the most valuable lesson learned in the replacement of PHOs is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all
solution. "No single substitute for PHOs can work in every application, and that shouldn't be a surprise because
there was never one PHO," Mr. Galloway said. PHOs
covered a spectrum of products, from the solid shortenings to pourable frying oils.
Because fats and oils have a wide range of uses - and
PHOs offer stability and functionality - there are now
plenty of alternatives that formulators can tweak to meet
exact needs. Whether it's functionality in the formulation, processing conditions or adjacent concerns such as
sourcing and sustainability, bakers have a wealth of options to choose from.
"Every application is a bit different, and some are a
bit trickier than others," Mr. Kazier said, citing laminating fats for puff pastry as one. "The shortening has to
be machineable, it has to be fairly temperature tolerant,
and it has to handle, and those are the most challenging because PHOs seem to be more tolerant than the
Bunge Loders Croklaan worked on a shortening for
these tricky applications, and it had to meet those high
standards. It had to deliver the height and flakiness in
a puff pastry while also being plastic enough to be extruded and have a good temperature tolerance. "It has all
of those characteristics that PHO fat had," he said.
Today, bakers can choose shortenings and other fats