Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summary of the AM 2014 Session on trans Fat Reduction in Shortening and Oils

Gary List, co-chair of the Edible Applications Technology (EAT) 3 Session, provides a summary of the nine presentations by leaders in the field that focused on innovative technologies for trans fat reduction in shortening and oils. Gary also contributed two chapters in the recent AOCS Press title, Trans Fats Replacement Solutions. In one chapter, List offers specific information on trans fats replacement solutions for frying and baking applications, as well as solutions for shortenings, margarines, and spreads. In his second chapter, List provides an overview of replacement solutions in North America. Both chapters have an extensive list of references.

EAT 3: Innovative Technologies for trans Fat Reduction in Shortening and Oils
2014 AOCS Annual meeting San Antonio, TX
GR List and D. Nakhasi (Co-Chairs)

Over the past decade the industry made substantial progress in providing trans-fat replacements for the food industry in order to meet nutrition labeling requirements mandated by the Food and Drug   Administration. (FDA).  Among these are the reemergence of the trait modified oil industry which now furnish about 20% of domestic oil needs. This has occurred through the efforts of government industrial, and academic scientists over about a 25 year time frame.

The time honored oil processing methods have been modified to provide trans-fat replacements for the baking and food service sectors. Examples include enzymatic interesterfication, modified hydrogenation, fractionation, and blending. By 2005 most foods had been reformulated to meet FDA requirements and by 2012 a substantial number were reduced to 0.2 gms TFA/serving including food groups previously high in trans fats.

However in late 2013 the FDA announced plans to remove partially hydrogenated oils from the generally regarded as safe (GRAS) list. This leaves the future of catalytic hydrogenation as a fat modification tool in serious jeopardy despite a pronounced reduction in use.

Thus it seemed appropriate to review the progress made in trans-fat reduction in shortening and oils. Perhaps the biggest challenge in reducing trans-fats occurred in the baking industry. Roger Daniels described his research as “Form Follows Function”. Since baking shortenings perform many functions trans-fat replacements must perform as well as the product they are replacing.  Studies conducted on trans free palm based and interesterified shortenings confirmed that excellent performance in cookies, cakes and pie crusts were achieved.


Susan Knowlton described the performance of trait modified soybean oils in food applications. Trait modified soy oils have evolved from low linolenic to mid and high oleic lines. Through traditional plant breeding these oils are characterized   by reduced polyunsaturates and increased monounsaturated fatty acids. As such trait modified oils are much more stable than the parent commodity oil.  Trait modified oils serve well in deep fat frying operations. Other applications for trait modified soy oils include spray oils, pan and griddle frying as well as in snack foods.

Dietary fats continue to be of great interest because of potential adverse health and nutritional effects.  Ed Hunter reviewed recent studies on the role of stearic acid in blood lipids. A careful review showed that stearic acid is neutral in elevating LDL levels. This observation shows that the use of interesterified and full hydrogenated fats pose little risk in elevating LDL levels.

Modified hydrogenation represents a possible low-trans option for food use. Neil Higgins showed that the use of chemically modified nickel catalysts coupled with increased pressure and lower temperature resulted in a drastic reduction in trans-fat suitable for baking shortenings.

Although plant breeding has been useful in bringing trait modified oils to commercialization the use of biotechnology in combination with plant breeding has proven to be another option. Jerry Heise described applications of biotechnology for several soybean lines.  A low saturate high oleic oil is a no trans/low saturate (6%) product that performs well in deep fat frying and other food service applications. Omega -3 oils are of great interest because they are precursors to EPA and DHA needed for prostaglandin synthesis. Commodity soy contains about 7-8% omega 3 acids. Through biotechnology an enriched omega -3 oil was developed and in the final stages of commercialization.
Palm /palm kernel oils offer numerous possibilities for trans-fat replacements. Gerry McNeill described the latest in alternatives to hydrogenation through use of tropical oils. Through fractionation, interesterification, hydrogenation and blending tropical fats have proven to be versatile and functional in baking applications.

Algal oils offer a trans free solution as discussed by Risha Bond. A process was described based on fermentation as opposed to open ponds for algae production. The product is available commercially and meets the requirements and composition for an edible oil

Sunflower oil is an old crop that has undergone considerable improvement. Monoj Gupta traced the history and food uses of sunflower oil that culminated with NUSUN through the efforts of USDA Scientists and Archer Daniel Midland. NUSUN is a mid-oleic oil and is highly suitable in frying and snack foods. Other sunflower oils include the high linoleic and high oleic varieties. Supply and the higher costs have been factors in expansion of the sunflower oil industry.

The food service industry is a major user of fats and oils. David Booher described the performance of trait modified canola oil in food service applications. Canola oils commercially available   include low linolenic, high and mid oleic lines. The latter perform well in food service for frying, as spray oils and for pan /griddle use.

Although chemical interesterification is an old fat modification technology, the use of enzymes has only been commercialized in the past 10 years. Tom Tiffany reviewed the applications of the enzyme technology for production of baking fats along with performance data for cookies, cakes, and pies. These products were compared against hydrogenated shortenings and found to compare well.


Have a summary of a session you attended or chaired? Send AOCS an email to tips@aocs.org and we will post it!

No comments:

Post a Comment