Soybean oil processing methods are available to replace partially hydrogenated oil for food applications that require solid and semi-solid shortenings, such as bakery products. These techniques produce products with similar characteristics to partially hydrogenated oil, yet the result is food applications that are trans fat-free and low in saturated fat.
One such processing technique is interesterification, during which fatty acids are rearranged within and among triglyceride molecules. This method does not cause isomerization, and no trans fatty acids are formed by the process. Interesterification has the ability to produce a wide range of products similar to those produced from partial hydrogenation – including cookies, cakes, spreads, icings and more.
Both temperature at which soybean oil becomes liquid (the melt point) and the phasing of turning from solid to liquid (the melt curve) can be adjusted using recently perfected technology. Crystallization of interesterified soybean oil can be achieved by votating the oil and tempering it under controlled conditions. This technique achieves solid and semi-solid shortenings, which are useful in a wide range of applications.
Blending is another method used for bakery applications to avoid the introduction of trans fat. It involves combining a fully hydrogenated soybean oil (a trans fat-free hard stock) with a non-hydrogenated oil such as traditional conventional soybean oil, trait-enhanced soybean oil or alternative vegetable oils. This technique results in a final product that is trans fat free and low in saturated fat.
Learn more about innovative processing techniques in Soybean Oil Facts: Processing Solutions.