SPX told BakeryandSnacks.com that since governments had clamped down on trans fats, manufacturers are now using palm oil in sandwich creams which must be cooled at lower temperatures to optimize consistency.
The company said that sandwich creams with palm oil needed to be cooled at 16-17°C instead of the 20-22ºC required for trans fat creams.
According to the company, this can be achieved with an increased cooling capacity and a larger heat transfer surface.
Palm oil replacement harms consistency
Global authorities began regulating trans fatty acids several years ago after research emerged linking trans fats to increased risk of heart disease. Denmark has regulated foods containing trans fatty acids since March 2003, while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced compulsory trans-fat declaration labels in 2006.
“The health concerns and awareness of the effects of trans fatty acids, consumer demands and legislation have led to the reduction or removal of these and, indeed, reduction in the percentage of saturated fatty acids from sandwich biscuits," said SPX.
“This has left many producers with the challenge of handling a recipe that has a slower crystallization speed which results in a change in the vital consistency of the product,” the firm continued.
SPX said the slower crystallization speed of palm oil creates filling creams with a softer consistency.
"This can cause problems with the stability of the final cookie and variances in the depth of the cookies – which in turn creates issues with packaging,” it added.
Sandwich creams are made by dispersing sugar in a mixture of melting fats, which is then quickly cooled on a scarped surface heat exchanger. Fat crystallization must be timed after the filling process to ensure the cream holds layers together.
“To avoid the sandwich cream from setting in the line and cresting blockage, a direct connection to the filling machine is desirable and improves operational reliabity,” said SPX.
The company added that manufacturers should opt for closed systems as they can operate continuously to give higher capacities and were more hygienic.