Areas to consider when casting aside phos

by Jeff Gelski
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Emulsifiers with alternative oils to phos should mimic the thermal stability and maintain the flavor, texture, quality and ease of handling and shelf stability that phos provided.

KANSAS CITY — Quality and costs are two important concerns when replacing partially hydrogenated oils (phos) with other oil alternatives, but there are other concerns. Try preservatives and polymerization, and remember that some emulsifiers have phos as well.

Companies have less than two years to solve these issues. The Food and Drug Administration in June 2015 finalized its determination that phos, the primary dietary source of industrially produced trans fat, are not Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in human food. Food manufacturers have until June 18, 2018, to remove phos from all their products.

Reducing polymerization

Insoluble polymeric material builds up with prolonged fat use, according to the fourth edition of Baking Science & Technology published by Sosland Publishing Co., Kansas City. Polymerization may be a problem in frying kettles and bread pans. Alternative oils to phos should help reduce polymerization.

“There has been an industry wide trend of replacing phos with other high stability oils such as high-oleic oils, tropical oils, interesterified oils and fully hydrogenated oils, which provide the same functionality and often greater stability, which translates into more bake cycles between pan cleaning and re-glazing due to decreased polymerization,” said Chase Newman-Brewer, president of Maverik Oils, Redland, Calif.

Traditionally, mineral oil has been used in conjunction with vegetable oils to add stability and decrease polymerization, but finding the optimal blend is a balancing act, he said.

“Too much mineral oil and smoke point can be an issue,” he said. “Too much vegetable oil and polymerization can be an issue, which is the build-up of polymers on equipment or in this case undesirable gumming of the pans. Prior to pho bans, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils helped with this. However, with the deadline to cease using phos rapidly approaching in 2018, formulators have had to come up with alternatives. The goal is to avoid jeopardizing performance and stability but also to balance cost with our baking customer’s needs.”

Being based in California, Maverik Oils has years of experience in working with alternatives to phos. The state of California passed legislation in 2008 that partially banned phos, Mr. Newman-Brewer said.

“We’ve had 10 years to perfect our formulations, allowing us to offer the baking industry a full line of specialty oils and lubricants that meet ‘clean label’ requirements,” he said.

Avoiding preservatives


The oleic content of an oil may have an effect on a baked food’s shelf life and thus on whether certain chemical preservatives should be used. For example, omega-9 fatty acid oils from Dow AgroSciences, L.L.C., Indianapolis, have a patented profile of over 70% oleic acid. The oils are sourced from sunflower seed and canola.

“Because the oil is naturally stable, the need for antioxidants and oil stability additives such as tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) in many shelf stable applications is greatly reduced or eliminated,” said Mary LaGuardia, market manager for the oils for Dow AgroSciences. “Omega-9 canola oil has zero trans fats, among the lowest levels of saturated fats and is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Omega-9 canola oil can be blended with palm fractions to make lower saturated fat, pho-free shortenings.”

Remember emulsifiers

Food manufacturers by June 2018 should make certain their emulsifiers do not contain phos. As an alternative, Corbion offers Ensemble, a line of emulsifiers made from a proprietary mixture of non-pho oils that mimics the thermal stability and maintains the flavor, texture, quality, ease of handling and shelf stability that previously only phos could provide, according to Corbion.

Within the Ensemble line, BFP 550, part of the company’s BFP portfolio of mono- and diglycerides, has been shown to work in baked foods or for shortening, icing or frozen desserts to improve texture, shelf life and eating characteristics. Alphadim 570, part of the non-pho line of distilled monoglycerides, may be used in a variety of applications, including ice cream, sour cream, whipped toppings and pudding snacks.

GMS 520 and GMS 540 hydrated monoglycerides are designed for no-time dough process or applications with short mixing times. Starplex 590 and Starplex 590 F are fast-acting, non-pho powdered distilled monoglycerides that improve machinability and dough handling. They also provide lubrication during the slicing process.

DuPont Nutrition & Health has a Danisco range of emulsifiers made from non-pho-containing vegetable oils, organic acids and glycerol. The vegetable oils include bioengineered/G.M.O. canola, non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. sunflower and rapeseed, and palm oil that is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. The range features Dimodan distilled monoglycerides, Solec lecithin and Panodan DATEM.

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