LAS VEGAS — Retail bakers may have a way to alleviate the extra costs when working with alternatives to partially hydrogenated oils (phos).
“Bakers shouldn’t make their money by buying in the back door,” said Mitch Riavez, a certified master baker and national accounts manager for Stratas Foods. “They should make their money by selling in front.”
He gave reasons for using shortening with enzymatically interesterified (E.I.E.) high-oleic soybean oil, a pho alternative, Oct. 9 at the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas. In reference to buying in the back door, shortening from E.I.E. high-oleic soybean oil will cost more than shortening from phos, but in reference to selling in the front of the store, retail bakers may charge more for their product.
Mr. Riavez said retail bakers might sell an 8-inch layer cake for $17 or $17.50. When switching to shortening from E.I.E. high-oleic soybean oil, they may increase the price to $18.
“If you sold every cake for 50c more, you paid for the shortening,” he said.
Bakers have good reason to switch to pho alternatives. 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 their products.
Mr. Riavez addressed the higher price for E.I.E. high-oleic soybean oil.
“If I sold you a case of shortening that was $8 more than the last case you bought, you would say, ‘That’s outrageous. I’m not going to pay that,’“ he said. “But you didn’t even measure the bowl yield yet to know how many cakes you can ice out of that (case).”
Mr. Riavez said more air and more water gets into the shortening quicker when using the E.I.E. high-oleic soybean oil than when using phos, which leads to more volume.
“So what does that actually mean?” he said. “You ice more cakes (per case).”
He said the price of high-oleic soybean oil will come down over the years as the acreage for high-oleic soybeans increases.
Less than a quarter billion lbs of high-oleic soybean oil is available for commercial use this year. The goal is to have 9.3 billion lbs available by 2026, according to Qualisoy, an independent, third-party collaboration among the soybean industry.
Qualisoy has performed icing tests that compared pho soybean shortening, palm-based shortening, E.I.E. conventional soybean shortening, E.I.E. high-oleic soybean shortening and E.I.E. high-oleic canola shortening. Icing based on E.I.E. high-oleic oil shortening had a better workability over palm over a wide temperature range. Specific gravity was similar. The viscosity was lower than phos in all the icings with that from E.I.E. high-oleic soybean shortening the lowest. Overall performance of the E.I.E. high-oleic soybean oil was the closest to that of phos.
The I.B.I.E demonstration on Oct. 9 also featured Becky Wortman, a chef and icing sculptor who was named one of the top 10 cake artists in North America in 2014 by Dessert Professional Magazine. Using shortening from E.I.E. high-oleic soybean oil, she sculpted a cake made to look like a slot machine.“I’m not a food scientist, but this stuff is really flexible and lasts a long time,” Ms. Wortman said. “I’ve had sculptures sitting up for about a year.”