Caravan claims to have ‘rewritten rule book’ for trans-free shortenings

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trans fats Trans fat

Caravan Ingredients has claimed to have transformed the processing of shortenings and foods containing them, such as bakery products, with a new line of diglycerides.

The vegetable-oil derived diglycerides – to be sold under the Trancendim brand name – are intended to reduce saturated fats and completely replace trans fats in shortenings and bakery products, without sacrificing the mouthfeel or flavor of a product, the company said.

The range was developed in response to manufacturer and consumer demand for foods with lower saturated fat and trans fat-free foods, especially since evidence mounted that trans fats are detrimental to heart health.

Going trans fat-free

Trans fatty acids are formed when liquid vegetable oils go through a chemical process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenated vegetable fat has been popular with food processors because it is solid at room temperature and has a longer shelf life. Therefore, commercially produced shortenings in the US have traditionally contained high levels of saturated and hydrogenated fats, but these are high in triglycerides, which have been shown to raised LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Caravan Ingredients Innovation Center Director Troy Boutte told “In essence, almost the entire shortening industry was heavily geared towards processing partially hydrogenated fats. Therefore, even though diglycerides and triglycerides are fairly similar, we’ve had to almost completely rewrite the ‘rule book’ for processing shortenings and foods containing shortenings.”

The diglyceride middle ground

Boutte explained that the general properties of diglycerides fall between monoglycerides and triglycerides, in terms of solubility, boiling point, setting point and so on.

For example, diglycerides mix better with water than triglycerides, which gives better emulsifying properties, but monoglycerides can mix too strongly with water, he said, “so that an excess of monoglycerides in a formulation can lead to a waxy or gummy mouthfeel.”

He claims that the Trancendim range provides the benefits of hydrogenated fats but in a healthier form.

“We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time studying potential applications including peanut butter, icings, shortenings, frying oils, and a large variety of bakery products. Using all of the data we’ve generated we are now able to fairly quickly formulate a Trancendim diglyceride product to meet the needs of our customers.”

Depending on the application, Trancendim can either be incorporated directly into foods by manufacturers without first being mixed into a shortening, or can be delivered to shortening plants in bulk molten form, as spray chilled powders, or as beads. It would then be mixed with the oils before final processing of the shortening. Trancendim is used at 5 – 10 percent of weight in conjunction with other fats and oils.

Related topics Ingredients

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