Batter-based baked goods typically need semi-solid shortening solutions. With the latest emulsifier developments, liquid oils can now deliver similar functionality in these applications.

Cakes and icing rely heavily on fat and sugar for stability. However, the specific needs of cakes and icings often require an extra something from their fats. When aeration, moisture retention and whippability are important, such as cake and icing applications, Mr. Bohm explained, shortenings that also have an emulsifier system incorporated can be critical to performing these functions.

The aeration of a cake batter or icing is critical to the structure of these two components. Incorporating air delivers proper volume, grain and texture. It keeps cakes from collapsing in the oven. Trapping that air in a cake batter falls completely on the fat mixed into the batter. The fat and its emulsifier trap the air in small cells and bubbles, which in turn creates the texture, structure and stability of the cake or icing.

“When we talk about cakes and icings, we typically use emulsified shortenings that have excellent creaming properties to help aerate with small uniform air cells,” Ms. Eagan said.

While cakes typically have used emulsified shortenings, recent developments have opened the door to liquid oils as an option for cake bakers. The solid fat was necessary for trapping air in the batter, but Corbion designed its SweetPro emulsifier to impart some of that functionality into liquid oil.

“They can help a baker move from the semi-solid shortenings to a liquid oil type of application,” Mr. Robertson explained.

This allows bakers to take advantage of liquid oil’s benefits, including easier storage and handling and reducing overall fat use.

“Liquid oil tends to deliver even more tenderness than solid fats, so in many cases, when you move from a solid fat into a liquid oil, you can reduce the overall fat content in the product without losing any of the functionality of fat,” Mr. Robertson said.