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Methods to reduce fat content and costs of different fat based products

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Methods to reduce fat content and costs of different fat based products

By Cai C. Christensen, Business Unit Manager, Palsgaard A/S

For several years it has been a wish to reduce the content of fat in products like margarine, mayonnaise, dressings and baked goods for health reasons but also for costs reasons. It is also a must, that the organoleptical quality of the food is more or less similar to the high fat containing food products. When all these wishes can be fulfilled, the possibility to achieve a success in the market will be high.

This article will discuss some product possibilities, which can be achieved by using the correct formulation in combination with the right process. The focus will be on the ingredients, which are necessary for the processes and the final products.

In traditional margarine the fat content is approx. 80%, but for spreads, this fat content has step wise been lowered. For many years fat contents between 52% and 35% were common, but now more products with 20% and lower fat content are on the market.

A typical recipe for a 10% fat spread:

Water phase:
1% salt
88.9% water
0.1% potassium sorbate

Fat phase:
0.6% Palsgaard® 0295 (mono- and diglyceride E471 with IV approx. 110)
0.4% Palsgaard® 4175 (PGPR E 476)
2% interesterified fat; mp 38°C-42°C
7% liquid oil
Flavour, colour

Despite the very small continuous oil phase, the emulsifier system makes it possible to maintain the Water-in-Oil emulsion in the liquid emulsion before the crystallizer and in the final product. Because of the small amount of fat and oil available for creating the right emulsion, the water droplets must be of a certain size or the emulsion will break. Again the right emulsifier system is necessary for maintaining the right Water-in-Oil system despite the bigger water droplets.


This recipe and process make it possible to reduce the fat content from 80% fat to 10% fat in spreads.

Bakery margarine / Danish pastry margarine
Danish pastry margarine typically contains approx. 80% fat. But for several years it has been a wish to reduce this because of costs, but also because of the amount of margarine, typically 35-40%, necessary for obtaining the right consistency and lamination in the baked pastry, gives a very high content of fat in the final product.

There are more hurdles to over come when reducing the fat content in bakery margarine; one is the stability of the margarine, another is the performance of the margarine in the baked goods and last but not least the performance of the margarine during the preparation of the dough.

It has been possible to reduce the fat content in the Danish pastry margarine from 80% fat content to 50% fat content.

A typical recipe is:
Water phase:
1% salt
2% Palsgaard® 5475 (acetylated distarch adipate E1422 and mono-and diglycerides of fatty acids E471)
0.1% Potassium-sorbate
46.9% water
Fat phase:
2% Palsgaard® 1325 (mono- diglycerides of fatty acids E471, citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids E472c, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids E475)
48% low trans fat blend
flavour, colour

The emulsifier Palsgaard® 1325 secures a stable, dry and very plastic Danish pastry margarine. During baking this emulsifier combination secures a Danish pastry with an expansion and lamination similar to Danish pastry baked with Danish pastry margarine with 80% fat content.

The water phase ingredient Palsgaard® 5475 secures the crispiness of the Danish pastry despite the lower fat content in the baked goods.


The production process, tempering and handling of this new type of margarine is similar to the margarine containing 80% fat

This new type of Danish pastry margarine makes it possible to reduce the fat content in the margarine from 80% to 50%.

Mayonnaise and dressings
Mayonnaise and dressing products are very complex products, but increasing costs for more of the ingredients have made basis for creation of new formulations. It is now possible to make delicious mayonnaises and dressings with very low fat contents.

A typical recipe with low fat content (15% fat), without eggs or milk proteins, is:


Water: 70.40%
Vegetable oils: 15.00%
*Palsgaard®5423: 4.75%
Sugar: 3.80%
Vinegar 12%: 2.00%
Mustard paste: 1.50%
Salt: 1.10%
Vinegar, estragon 7%: 1.00%
Malto dextrin: 0.20%
Malic acid 33%: 0.15%
Potassium sorbate: 0.10%
Spices and colours; pH approx. 4.0

*Acetylated distarch adipate E1422, hydroxyl propyl distarch phosphate E1442, Stach sodium octenyl succinate E1450, guar gum E412, xanthan gum E415
The process, storage and other conditions for these types of mayonnaise and dressing are similar to the traditional products.
With the new formulation for mayonnaises and dressings, it is possible to make high quality products with low fat content.

As it can be seen from the content of this article, it is definitely possible to reduce the fat content and the content of other ingredients in margarine/spreads and mayonnaise/dressing products, and thereby make the products cheaper to produce. Additionally, it is possible to meet the demand from the consumers for lower fat products without having the quality of the products suffering, compared to the similar products with high fat content.

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