Analytical and processing technology may have enabled ingredient suppliers to design product-specific fats, but improvements in the base oils themselves also have made those processes easier.

“Globalization has resulted in fat and oil products and technologies from other parts of the world becoming accessible in the U.S.,” said David Rowe, chief technology officer, Epogee Foods. “Improved plant breeding has enabled the creation of new oil materials with unique capabilities, including the development of very high-oleic materials with improved health properties and oil stability.”

High-oleic oils are the result of breeding and genetic modification to enhance their nutritional and functional profile. Fatty acids within these seed oils have been improved by increasing the monounsaturated content and reducing the saturated fats. This leads to more stable and healthier oils that ingredient suppliers can then use in their other processes to develop custom solutions for bakers.

“High-oleic oils, like Omega-9 Canola Oil and Plenish high-oleic soybean oil, are naturally stable without hydrogenation,” said Susan Knowlton, senior research manager, Corteva Agriscience, agriculture division of DowDuPont. “The fatty acid profile in high-oleic oils allows food manufacturers to put a 0 g trans fat label on their products without sacrificing shelf life or performance.”

These attributes not only improve stability, nutritional profile and shelf life, but they help bakers achieve cleaner labels by eliminating the need for additives or artificial preservatives.

AAK is finding new ways to use its non-G.M.O. vegetable-based oils and fats. For bakers looking to replace milk fat, AAK uses coconut, sunflower, safflower and soybean oils to provide that same functionality with an ingredient some consumers perceive as cleaner, more sustainable healthier.

Between sophisticated base oils and innovative processing, the sky is the limit in what fat solutions can provide bakers.

This article is an excerpt from the April 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on fats and oils, click here.