Fats Labelling
Consumers are beginning to demand sustainable ingredients be used in bakery products. 

Formulation functionality, processing and storage may be the most critical factors in determining the best fat system for a product, but how these ingredients read on the label is becoming a concern as well. This can mean how the fat system affects the Nutrition Facts Panel as well as consumer perceptions about sustainability and being able to claim vegan or non-G.M.O. on front-of-package labeling.

“Twenty to 40 years ago, no one cared about where the fat or oil came from; they just wanted to eat,” said Rick Cummisford, director of quality, Columbus Vegetable Oils. “Now there is a lot more traceability through the whole food chain. You get into non-G.M.O. oils, sustainable palm oils, organic. It’s not just getting an ingredient to perform in your product but also now about the non-functional aspects of the ingredient.”

Whether a bakery wants to tout vegan, non-G.M.O., organic or a commitment to sustainability will all play a role in dictating which fats and oils are available to them and which are off the table.

“Source and supply chain availability, along with product cost, are other critical considerations,” said John Satumba, Ph.D., food ingredients and analytical chemistry director, Global Edible Oil Solutions R&D, Cargill.

And the Nutrition Facts Panel cannot be forgotten either. If a healthy halo is important to a bakery, then it’s important to have a number in mind.

“Bakers should consider the nutritional aspects of the finished baked good to help determine the nutritional targets of the fat system used in the formulation,” said Jim Robertson, senior product manager, emulsifiers, Corbion. “Do they have a nutritional target in respect to fat level in their finished good?”

The source of fat will have a direct impact on saturates. If that’s a priority for a baker’s target consumers, it needs to be on formulators’ radar.