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Shortening

Shortening. Any plastic or solid form of an edible fat (q.v.), as lard (q.v.), butter (q.v.), margarine (q.v.), or any otherwise plastic fat that has been fluidized, that is capable of imparting shortness (q.v.), flavor (q.v.), and a soft texture (q.v.) to a bakery product. It may be of animal or vegetable origin, or be compounded from both types. When liquid in its natural state, it is generally referred to as an oil (q.v.). When oils are subjected to the process of hydrogenation (q.v.), they lose their fluidity to various degrees and improve in their stability.