Between supply chain problems and rising costs, bakers and snack makers want to make the most of their cooking oils, which includes proper storage and usage.

The main enemies of oil quality are temperature, light and oxygen, said David Johnson, director of product management, food protection, Kalsec Inc.

“On a commercial scale, best practices for oil storage involve minimizing the time between oil usage and replenishment, as well as keeping the oil in a cool, dark location,” he said. “This can help reduce exposure to light and heat, which may accelerate the breakdown of the oil and reduce its quality.”

Rick Cummisford, director of quality at Columbus Vegetable Oils, said to minimize the amount of time the product is stored in bulk unless it is in an inert atmosphere and package oil in air-tight containers in temperatures under 75⁰F.

“Storage is critical, but just as important is using the oil as quickly as possible once received to ensure the quality and shelf life of the products being made with the oils,” he said. “If more shelf life is needed, then discuss fats and oils with improved oxidative stability and even options for using various antioxidants to prolong freshness. Fats and oils do not improve over time.”

Producers using frying oils should critically evaluate how they’re used and minimize exposure to trace metals as well as moisture and oxygen.

“Heating the oil to the temperature recommended on your technical data sheet will help maintain the best quality and shelf life,” said Marina Negroponte, manager, ESG global customers and NA oils, Bunge Loders Croklaan. “Manage proper agitation for consistent heat transfer. Agitation helps reduce cold and hot spots.”

Marie Shen, associate innovation scientist at Kemin Industries, said using high-quality antioxidants is the best practice for oil storage. She said it is more effective to treat oil with antioxidants right after production to delay lipid oxidation.

This article is an excerpt from the April 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Fats & Oils, click here.