Natural antioxidants, such as green tea, offer greater heat stability than synthetic ones.

Ever since the Food and Drug Administration announced it would remove GRAS status from partially hydrogenated oils (phos) effective June 18, 2018, formulators have been scrambling to find alternatives that match the extended shelf life benefits phos offer.

Many replacement shortening options do not provide the same stability as phos, and formulators are exploring other oils and even antioxidants for solutions. Kemin Food Technologies offers GT-FORT, an oil-soluble green tea extract that helps product developers combat rancidity in baked foods. Chandra Ankolekar, technical services manager, fats and oils, said GT-FORT extract can replace many natural and synthetic antioxidants that negatively impact sensory attributes or add unwanted chemical names to food labels.

For example, tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a synthetic antioxidant used to extend shelf life of baked foods by protecting lipids from rancidity. Mr. Ankolekar said GT-FORT is a natural and consumer-friendly option that matches the efficacy of TBHQ.

“A lot of people are looking for shorter names and an easier to understand ingredient line,” Mr. Ankolekar said. “What GT-FORT allows formulators to do is use an ingredient that’s easy to incorporate into formulations without having to use any kind of chemical names.”

The oil-soluble green tea extract requires no emulsifiers, making it different from water-soluble green tea extracts. The ingredient comes in a canola oil-based formula and can be mixed directly into any fat or lipid base for baked goods.

One of GT-FORT’s biggest benefits, Mr. Ankolekar said, is its ability to not negatively impact sensory attributes. Kemin has tested the product in formulations where the extract reaches up to 1% of the total lipid base without any negative sensory effects. As a comparison, tests with rosemary extract, another natural antioxidant, only reach 0.1% of total lipid base before negative sensory effects arise, Mr. Ankolekar said. In baked foods where taste profiles can be very subtle, formulators often avoid ingredients that impart unwanted characteristics. The green tea extract can be added without affecting flavor.

Natural antioxidants offer greater heat stability than synthetic ones. Green tea is known for its high heat tolerance, while ingredients like TBHQ can “flash off” during baking, making them less effective against rancidity, Mr. Ankolekar said.

“Natural options are more heat stable, and they tend to remain in the baked good even after the baking process,” he said.

GT-FORT can be used in cookies, crackers, bars and even popcorn with a long shelf life, generally considered six-months to a year. With the pho mandate looming, baking companies are gathering around the table to investigate the benefits of green tea in their products.

For more information about Kemin’s GT-FORT, visit