In baked goods that rely on batter, emulsified shortenings are key to aeration, which builds the structure in the formulation. 

In Danish, puff pastries and croissants, fat can provide a leavening effect. Fat is laminated between layers of dough, and in the heat of an oven, the fat will promote laminar separation between the protein layers, delivering not only a flaky texture but also rise.

“If it’s a laminated product like a Danish or puff pastry, high-melt-point fats play a critical role,” Mr. Sieloff said. “You cannot accomplish the same things with a low melt point fat.”

These typically have a gentle melting curve, granting a wide temperature range and high processing tolerance that help flash dough water into steam to provide the lift necessary to create puff pastry. This melting curve is so crucial to this signature characteristic that things just aren’t the same if the fat is wrong.

“If the fat isn’t right in a puff pastry, it’s not going to be a puff pastry,” said Jim Robertson, senior product manager, emulsifiers, Corbion.

When lamination isn’t possible, certain shortenings can provide a similar effect.

“Flaked shortenings are useful when bakers want to mimic lamination without having to actually laminate their dough,” Mr. Bohm explained. “They ensure an even distribution of fat and flavor in a finished product, provide a softer crumb structure and create air pockets that mimic the lamination effect.”