Food & Beverage Asia Oct/Nov 2018

INGREDIENTS FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2018 25 S hock waves rippled around the Western world when it was first made known that margarine harboured a risk to cardiovascular health in the form of trans fatty acids. It was the early 1990s, and AAK was one of the ̬rst vegetable oils and fats producers to develop a non-trans solution in response to this news. Today, more than two decades later, the US is poised to ban the use of partially hydrogenated oils – the main source of trans fats – in all produced foods. To add, since January 2018, an EU regulation limiting the content of trans fats in the oil or fat phase of foods to 2% was passed, mirroring the national regulations that many EU member states already had in place. Again, AAK is fully prepared. The fact is, supplying non-trans vegetable oils and fats solutions to our customers has been an important part of our business ever since the launch of AAK’s ̬rst non-trans fats solution for margarine. Our innovation has focused on developing non-trans alternatives that provide the same or improved functionality as trans-containing partially hydrogenated fats. This is why we are able to supply non-trans cocoa butter alternatives, ice cream coatings, ̬lling fats and fats for spreads – among many other things. To Hydrogenate – or Not Our approach to avoid trans fats is two- pronged. Either we select purely non- hydrogenated components or we develop solutions that are fully hydrogenated. It is often the labelling requirements of specific markets that determine whether food manufacturers go for one solution or the other. Unlike partially hydrogenated fats, fully hydrogenated fats are as trans fat free as non-hydrogenated fats. The only challenge is consumer perceptions – as many today equate any form of hydrogenation with trans fats. In markets such as the EU, where it is necessary to label hydrogenated fats on product labels, manufacturers often avoid this issue by choosing a non-hydrogenated option. Keeping Functionality on Track Once manufacturers have decided which path to follow, the next step is to ensure functionality. For some applications, this can be a di ̮ cult task. The main reasons for using trans-containing partially hydrogenated fats in the first place include their fast crystallisation speed, positive impact on texture and contribution to food product shelf life. When partially hydrogenated fats are replaced, all these factors must be taken in hand to ensure food product quality is maintained. After more than 140 years in the business, fat and oil functionality is an area we know a lot about at AAK. This is the knowledge we share in co-development projects with customers, through our AAK Academy and AAK Innovation Days. This enables us to ensure, for example, the crystallisation speed of our non-trans cocoa butter alternatives for chocolate and confectionery products, so they stay glossy and appealing right through shelf life. Recipe and Process Tweaks Using our knowledge on how ingredients interact with food products, we also advise our customers on how to reformulate their recipes when transitioning to a non-trans solution. Our Customer Innovation centres around the world provide the facilities for many such product trials. One of our goals is to ensure customers can process non-trans products on their existing production lines without signi̬cant additional investments. With our guidance on production processes, customers typically only need to adjust a few processing settings to achieve a smooth production start-up. Although we have long been able to provide our customers with a broad range of non- trans vegetable oils and fats, we are not about to slow down our rate of innovation. The increased focus and regulations on non trans fat solutions in the US and the EU are the ultimate con̬rmation that the non-trans movement is now mainstream and here to stay. It is our clear expectation that other countries around the world will eventually follow suit. This is why we continue to develop and further improve our range with the next-generation of non-trans vegetable oils and fats. AAK has pioneered many alternatives to trans fats for many food products. As new trans fat regulations come into play, the specialist in vegetable fats and oils is ready to help food manufacturers move on. )%$