Fat functionality

Oils and fats are important ingredients for:

  • Foods (margarine, low-fat margarine, frying fat, baking and roasting products, mayonnaise, sauces, ice cream, sweets, etc.)
  • Washing and cleaning products (textile detergents, detergents, cleaning agents)
  • Personal care products (hair care, skin and facial care, toilet soap, toothpaste, deodorant)
  • Specialty chemicals (oleochemical products such as: fatty acids and glycerin, stearin, olein, amides, polymerised fatty acids)
  • Special oils and fats (animal feed industry, chocolate and confectionery industry, technical industry).

The functional properties of a triglyceride are determined by the chemical properties (such as chain length, number of double bonds and the location of the double bond on the carbohydrate chain) and physical properties (such as melting point) of the fatty acids in question.

The fatty acids most present in the fat or oil determine the chemical and physical properties of the final fat or oil. If a fat mainly contains saturated fatty acids, then these fatty acids determine the chemical and physical properties of the fat and it will be solid at room temperature. Conversely, fats with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids have a low melting point, making them liquid at room temperature.

Specific food products require a certain hardness (biscuits) or, conversely, a certain fluidity (mayonaise) of the fat. We can influence the melting behavior of a fat or oil by changing its fatty acid composition.

 

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