Functions in food

There are many types of vegetable oils and fats that have a favourable fatty acid composition by nature. There have also been an increasing number of new techniques developed over time to modify existing vegetable oils and fat wso that they can be made suitable for use in a wider range of applications in all sorts of foodstuffs.

By combining different raw materials and techniques it is possible to modify the fats so as to influence the fatty acid composition of the end product.

Fats have an important function in many foodstuffs:
  • fats give sensory satiety
  • fats are important taste components
  • fats make certain methods of food preparation possible, such as deep-frying and normal frying
  • fats play a part in the transfer of heat and in the water activity of a product
  • fats help to determine the consistency, the texture, the feel in the mouth and the melting behaviour
  • So fats determine to a large extent whether a product is found to be attractive.

A certain degree of hardness of the fat is often needed for this. This hardness is needed for the structure and the stiffness. In the past fats with the desired degree of hardness were often saturated fatty acids and/or trans fatty acids. Fortunately, innovations in the oils and fats sector have made it increasingly easier to produce foodstuffs using healthy fats but still with the desired taste, texture and shelf life.


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The Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils (MVO)