Soy emulsifier will respond to Europe's 'negative sentiment' over palm oil: Palsgaard

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Palm oil, Flour, Vegetable fats and oils, Europe

Danish supplier Palsgaard has launched a soy-based emulsifier for cakes to meet growing European demand for palm-free foods. But certified sustainable palm oil is still the most environmentally-friendly oil crop, it says.

Dubbed SA 6615, the emulsifier is a polyglycerol ester (PGE) made from soya oil, blended with rice flour. This means that, in Europe, it can be listed as rice flour and polyglycerol ester, or E475.

“In a few of the markets we serve around the world, negative sentiment around palm oil is now prompting some manufacturers to remove palm oil ingredients from their products entirely,”​ said global product and application manager Arne Pedersen.

Palsgaard said it expects most demand for its palm-free emulsifier to come from northern European countries, particularly Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France and the UK, as well as producers based outside EU selling in Europe, such as New Zealand and Australia.

However, while manufacturers can easily remove palm oil from recipes, it can be difficult to find a palm-free emulsifier that provides the same functionality in terms of shelf life, whippability, mechanical robustness and dosage, Pedersen said.

SA 6615 is also the first palm-free emulsifier for industrially produced cakes available in powder form, the firm said.

Emulsifiers often come in the form of gels, shortenings or paste form but powders make the production process easier, more cost-efficient and safer.

Powders improve safety because there is no need for manual labour, global sales manager for bakery and confectionery Peter Poulsen told FoodNavigator, while ensuring “functional safety​”, because manufacturers can rely on same cake result every time.

They also require “only a few minutes of preparation​” before being ready for use.

The Juelesminde-based company, which claims to have invented the world's first industrial emulsifier, said SA 6615 offers the same aeration and emulsification as gels but has a longer shelf-life, remaining whipping active for 18 months​ from the date of production.

Palm-free

The supplier was keen to stress that the ingredient launch was aimed at responding to one type of customer demand for palm-free ingredients, but that it remained committed to using sustainably-sourced palm oil.

Pedersen said: “Emulsifiers based on palm oil, particularly where the latter is produced in accordance with RSPO principles, are known to be far more sustainable in yield and functionality than those that produced from other crops such as soy, for example.”

Palsgaard has been a member of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2008 and can produce palm-based emulsifiers that are certified segregated if manufacturers wish.

The RSPO has pledged to crack down​ on increasing numbers of members that make palm-free claims on product packaging for environmental reasons.

Earlier this year, confectionery giant Ferrero won a court case in Belgium​ against the retailer Delhaize for claiming its palm oil-free, Nutella-style spread was healthier and better for the environment than a product with palm oil.

Interested in learning more about how to use Palsgaard's SA 6615 and whether it would work for your product? Visit the company at FIE later this month, at booth #804H (Hall 8)

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1 comment

Not another thing

Posted by Matt,

Got to avoid cakes now as I'm allergic to Soy.

Great.

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