A new emulsifier designed to ease the move towards hydrogenation-free baking has been launched.
Danisco believes that its Dimodan NH Distilled Monoglyceride ingredient will help bakers to smooth over consumer concerns about hydrogenated fats at no expense to the quality of their bread products.
"It is no longer enough to claim the elimination of trans fats," said Dorte Petersen, regional emulsifier director at Danisco.
"We see an increasing market demand for emulsifiers where hydrogenation has not been used at all.
"We have had a trans-free softener in our range for years. Now we have taken it one step further and developed a hydrogenation-free monoglyceride with a low iodine value and the equivalent functionality of a hydrogenated monoglyceride."
Trans fats may develop when fats are subject to partial hydrogenation.
Although trans fatty acids are never present in fully hydrogenated fats, widespread coverage of the potential health implications has led some markets to equate any degree of hydrogenation with the trans fat risk.
Indeed, two leading UK health organisations recently urged the food industry to eliminate trans fats altogether.
Both the Faculty of Public Health and Heart of Mersey (HoM) claim that this is necessary to cut coronary heart disease - the UK's leading cause of premature death.
As a result, the food industry has been spurred into action. On 31 January, the British Retail Consortium announced that its members, including all the major food retailers, would voluntarily remove industrially added TFA from all new stocks of own brand products by the end of this year.
Dimodan is targeted specifically at bakery applications such as toast and brioche toast. Danisco claims that the ingredient secures perfect crumb softness right through shelf life.
"Monoglycerides based on hydrogenated fat have until now been widely recognised as the most efficient means of delaying starch retrogradation in bread and, in that way, improving shelf life," said the company.
"Danisco's innovative alternative based on a special non-hydrogenated fat has been proven just as efficient."
The ingredient is the latest product development from Danisco in response to trans concerns. Last year saw the arrival of Grindsted crystalliser emulsifier blends, a range designed to improve capacity by optimising the crystallisation speed of trans-free fats.
The patent-pending technology behind Dimodan NH 100 is currently being fine-tuned for other applications and will be ready for market launch shortly.