At the heart of the process is a natural rosemary extract-derived antioxidant that can be custom-flavoured to match specific applications. In addition to stabilising the flavour of margarines, as well as vegetable and animal oils and fats, the neutralised fats overcome the common hurdles that arise when replacing solid palm fat with alternative oils; extend the product’s shelf life; increase heat stability during baking; and impart an optimised mouthfeel.
Ticking consumer demands
Aligned with today’s consumer trends, healthy plant-based fats are in high demand, while the acceptability of products containing palm oil is declining. However, alternatives such as rapeseed oil bring notable challenges, including intense organoleptic properties, high oxidation potential and individual processing requirements.
According to Grüninger, its innovative process offers several advantages from factory to fork.
Firstly, any oxidation-labile fatty acids are stabilised during refining and crystallisation with the help of a natural antioxidant. This both significantly extends the shelf-life of the end product and prevents the occurrence of heat-induced off-flavours that can arise during baking.
By adding special masking flavours to the fat phase, any undesirable flavours are masked in a second step before the desired top note is integrated into the structure during the precisely controlled crystallisation stage.
In addition to natural butter and vanilla notes, possible flavours include creamy-milky, fresh-sour and neutral-slightly sweet, as well as lightly roasted, nutty notes.
The flavour matrix of each margarine or shortening/lard is customised for industrial customers and own brands, which Grüninger produces as well as private-label articles. It is also possible to modify the taste of soft margarines, sandwich spreads and a wide range of special fats for industrial or commercial bakers.
“Fat is one of the most important flavour carriers, which has a decisive influence on the market success of the end product,” said Michel Burla, MD of Grüninger.
“In addition to flavouring, we rely on cooling drum technology to optimise the plasticity of the products, which is especially important when dispensing with structure-giving solid palm fat.”
Grüninger – part of Centravo Holding – is the Swiss market leader in the artisanal and industrial margarines and fats segment. Its core competence lies in the production of high plasticity fats and margarines for the manufacture of bakery and confectionery products using a special drum technology.
A 30-strong workforce at its production plant in Mitlödi in the canton of Glarus in Switzerland produces around 15,000 tonnes of fat specialities annually for both the national and international markets.