Pho replacements can impart a flaky, buttery texture and the visual appeal of bits of cinnamon in biscuit formulation. 

In formulating, nothing is simple. Changing one ingredient can mean looking at the entire formula to see what else may need adjusting to achieve the desired outcome. This is especially true for partially hydrogenated oils (phos) as they have played a crucial role in many baked foods. However, with the removal of phos’ Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status and the government mandate to remove them from foods by June 18, 2018, many bakers are looking for simple solutions that produce similar results without the need for major formula changes.

AAK created butter flake and cinnamon flake biscuits with the company’s multi-functional, non-hydrogenated, zero-trans and low-saturated fat shortenings. Two products — Cisao 8253-31-02 and Cisao 8253-12-05 — offer palm oil shortening flakes natural butter flavor and cinnamon. The flakes provide an even distribution of fat, a flaky texture and the visual appeal of cinnamon and butter without a traditional roll-in process.

Phos gained popularity because of the wealth of functionality they bring to the formulating table. They provide structure, tenderness and mouthfeel. Phos improve shelf life by slowing staling. They also are marked by the ability to retain air in products like cakes, and formulators find them easy to work with. When phos are removed from formulations, bakers often have to adjust other processing steps to compensate and recreate the same finished product.

Christopher Bohm, customer innovation manager, AAK, said Cisao products offer pho-free solutions in cubed and flaked forms as well as in margarines and hardstocks that can replace phos. The Cisao products are one-to-one replacements for phos, Mr. Bohm said, meaning they can be incorporated into customers’ processes without formula or process adjustments.

“When we create a new pho-free blend, we first work with our customers to understand their needs and processing parameters before diving into a solution,” Mr. Bohm said. “From there, we create custom solutions that take into consideration and deliver all of the customer’s processes and product attributes, as well as the features and benefits of the end product, usually without any change to our customer’s manufacturing processes.”

AAK combines two phases of fats, solid and liquid, in different proportions to accomplish this one-to-one replacement. Too much solid fat in a blend means slower melting characteristics, a higher melt point and an end product with a residual or waxy mouthfeel. Too much liquid oil and the product will have a slick mouthfeel and will not retain air for leavening, cell structure and density reduction. AAK, Mr. Bohm said, takes specific hard stock and adds a liquid oil at different ratios to find the right balance.

For example, the butter flake and cinnamon flake biscuits also feature Cisao 81-20, a pliable shortening for better machinability and process tolerance when incorporated into the biscuit dough. When combined with the other two palm oils, the shortenings provide a crumbly soft texture, enhanced lift and delicate air pockets.

Mr. Bohm said AAK is working to stay ahead of market trends and government deadlines by offering bakers the Cisao products. Through customized solutions and the ability to test products at AAK’s customer innovation centers, the company can quickly formulate new blends that match the physical properties and eating qualities of the pho products they’re replacing.

“This reduces our customer’s product development cycle time so they can get their products to market faster,” Mr. Bohm said. “This accelerated speed to market is critical to pho replacements as the deadline of June 18, 2018, is rapidly approaching.”

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