Location: Functional Foods Research Unit
Title: Preparation of margarines from organogels of sunflower wax and vegetable oils Authors
Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 28, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Solid fats are needed to provide desired texture to food products like margarines and spreads. Traditionally, the solid fats have been produced by hydrogenation of a vegetable oil, which generates trans fats. However, trans fats are known to increase the risk of coronary disease and the FDA issued a regulation requiring food manufacturers to list trans fat on the Nutrition Facts label of foods in 2003. Since this regulation was established, the food manufacturers have switched to plant-based highly saturated oils such as palm oil. However, consumption of oils with a high degree of saturation just has the similar health issues. Organogels have drawn increasing interest as alternatives to unhealthy solid fats containing high contents of either saturated or trans fats in margarine and spread products. However, no one has actually tried to make margarines from these organogels until the first successful preparation of margarine from soybean oil organogels formed by sunflower wax in our laboratory. Upon this success, we prepared many margarine samples with twelve other healthy vegetable oils and tested their physical properties. These new margarines had greater firmness than commercial spreads with 3% sunflower wax indicating that the firmness of spreads could be achieved with less than 3% sunflower wax. This study showed that the organogel approach could be a very promising method for healthy margarine and spread products containing highly unsaturated oil such as flaxseed oil as the major ingredient.
Technical Abstract: It was previously reported that sunflower wax (SW) had high potential as an organogelator for soybean oil-based margarine and spread products. In this study twelve other vegetable oils were evaluated in a margarine formulation to test feasibility of utilization of SW as an alternative to solid fats in margarine and spread products containing these oils. The minimum quantity of SW required to form a gel with these oils ranged from 0.3 to 1.0% (wt.). Organogels were prepared from the vegetable oils with 3, 5 and 7% SW and were tested for firmness as well as melting behaviors using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). These organogels were also incorporated into a margarine formulation. All of the vegetable oil organogels produced relatively firm margarines. The margarines prepared from organogels containing 3% (wt.) SW had greater firmness than commercial spreads, while margarines made from 7% SW were softer than commercial stick margarines. However, dropping points of the margarine samples were higher than those of commercial spread and margarine products. Margarine firmness was inversely correlated with the amount of polar compounds in the oils and did not correlate with fatty acid compositions. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using a number of healthy vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids to make healthy margarine and spread products by utilizing SW as an organogelator.