The physical characteristics of oils and fats are determined by their chemical properties, i.e., the chain length and unsaturation of the fatty acids as well as their distribution among the three hydroxyl groups of glycerol. By changing them through hydrogenation, fractionation, blending or interesterification (IE), the physical properties can be changed as well, hence, widening the spectrum for usage and application of the oils/fats. For instance, by applying IE, palm stearin can be incorporated in various types of margarine and at the same time, increase its proportion in the formulations. Without IE, only very small amounts of palm stearin can be incorporated in a table margarine formulation but the percentage can be increased to more than 50% when IE is employed.
Keywords: INTERESTERIFICATION, MPOB PUBLICATIONS, OILS AND FATS, PALM OIL, ESTERS, FATTY ACIDS