Emulsifiers and fats, whether oils or shortenings, are closely tied. Emulsifiers can help fats and oils perform their functions more effectively by making them easier to blend into a formulation.
“Emulsifiers aid in incorporating various fat-soluble, water-soluble and other dry ingredients together and binds them,” said Rick Cummisford, director of quality control, Columbus Vegetable Oils. “When used properly at the right ratio and order of addition, this will result in a blended product that will be uniform and not show any signs of separation of oil and/or water or inconsistencies such as clumps.”
They also can contain some fats themselves. To ensure that bakers are confident in their emulsifiers, some ingredient suppliers are making sure their supply chain for even the small amount of oils in emulsifiers is sustainable. Corbion, for example, is making the effort to verify its emulsifiers are produced from renewable vegetable sources.
“We’re also taking steps to ensure all palm oils used in our emulsifiers are Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (R.S.P.O.)-certified and come from suppliers who are equally committed to minimizing the impact on palm-growing regions and their communities,” said Jim Robertson, product management director, emulsifiers, Corbion.
Palsgaard also offers fully R.S.P.O.-certified ingredients as a part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.