Grüninger develops new technology to produce palm-free vegan margarine

SWITZERLAND – Replacing solid palm fat with alternative oils in margarines will now become possible thanks to a new technology developed by leading Swiss producer of industrial and commercial margarines Grüninger AG.

According to the company, the new technology makes it possible to produce palm-free, vegan and vegetarian margarines in which any off-note flavours are effectively taste-masked.

The new technology is centred on a natural rosemary extract-derived antioxidant that extends the products’ shelf-life and increases heat stability during baking.

Employed to overcome common hurdles that arise when replacing solid palm fat with alternative oils, the neutralised fats are custom-flavoured to match specific applications.

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Grüninger notes that in addition to stabilising the flavour of margarines – as well as vegetable and animal oils and fats – a key benefit is an optimised mouthfeel.

The new technology is timely as it addresses the demand for healthy vegetable fats are currently which is currently at an all-time high.

Additionally, the acceptability of products containing palm oil is declining, creating an urgent need for alternatives.

Consumer fall out with Palm oil is attributed to the fact that its use  continues to be a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species like the Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino.

However, widespread palm alternatives such as rapeseed oil bring notable challenges, including intense organoleptic properties, high oxidation potential and individual processing requirements.

With the technology, any oxidation-labile fatty acids are stabilised during refining and crystallisation with the help of a natural antioxidant.

This both significantly extends the shelf-life of the end product and prevents the occurrence of heat-induced off-flavours that can arise during baking.

It is also possible to mask any undesirable flavours by adding special masking flavours to the fat phase.

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In addition to natural butter and vanilla notes, other available flavours include creamy-milky, fresh-sour and/or neutral-slightly sweet, as well as lightly roasted, nutty notes.

At the end of the production process, Grüninger produces a product that basically reconciles consumer wishes with industry requirements.

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