12 January - 20 June 2016

Evaluation of canola oil oleogels with candelilla wax as an alternative to shortening in baked goods

3 June 2015

The texture and mouth feel of baked products such as pastries, cakes and cookies is critical. Traditionally, shortening (an edible fat) has been used as it prevents the cohesion of gluten strands during mixing and in addition imparts other functional characteristics such as aeration and stability. However, reduction in the use of shortening has been encouraged due to the fact that it contains high levels of saturated fatty acids and may also contain trans fatty acids.  Whilst other sources of fats and oils can be used, these are not ideal ingredients for shortening replacement. Organogelation, a new technique has been receiving attention in order to structure edible oils by the use of gelling agents. Through this process, organic liquid can be entrapped in a thermo-reversible gel network, producing oleogels with solid-like properties. Due to the fact that these oleogels have specific consistency and firmness without changes in their chemical composition, they are shown to have potential applications in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.  

In a recent study published in Food Chemistry by Lee et al. canola oil oleogels with candelilla wax were evaluated as an alternative to shortening in baked goods. Oleogels were prepared and their rheological properties characterised (firmness and viscosity). Two samples of cookies were then prepared, one containing shortening and the other containing the oleogel (as a shortening replacer). The physiochemical effects and chemical composition of both samples were investigated. Results showed an increase in unsaturated fatty acids in the oleogel cookies of up to around 92%, compared to the shortening cookies at 47.2%. The cookies with the oleogels also showed desirable spreadable property and soft eating characteristics. 

Further studies will be necessary to investigate consumer preference for the oleogel-incorporated products.

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