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Absorption Value. A measure of the capacity of a shortening (q.v.) to take up and firmly hold water (q.v.). It is determined experimentally by creaming water into a measured amount of shortening until no more water is absorbed and then calculating the volume of water taken up by the shortening. Different shortenings possess different water-absorbing capacities, with hydrogenated shortening (q.v.) being superior to lard (q.v.), and high-emulsifier shortening (q.v.) being able to take up several times its weight in water. This property is of primary importance to a shortening's performance when it is intended for use in cream fillings (q.v.) and icings (q.v.).