The ability of fat crystals to bind and hold a certain amount of liquid oil within their crystal matrix is dependent on triacylglycerol composition (Chawla and deMan, 1990; Taylor, 1976), thermal properties (deMan et al., 1995), and interaction of the fat crystals in the developed crystal network (Johansson and Bergenstayhl, 1995) of the fat blends. Fat blends of margarines, spreads and shortening are texturised to enhance entrapment of liquid within the crystals matrix, effectively immobilising the liquid oil within the fat crystal structure (Miskandar et al., 2005; Heertje, 1993). This physicochemical property of fat crystals is defined as the oil-binding capacity. Bound oil represents the liquid oil that cannot be separated from the fat crystal. Under centrifugal force, fat blends with sufficient solid fats and strong crystal network will remain intact without experiencing separation or release of oil. In fat blends with insufficient solid fat, the weak crystal network will collapse and release the trapped oil when centrifuged. The level of liquid oil bound to fat crystals can play an important role in determining the stability and the performance of the fat blends in the desired application (Sivaruby et al., 2013).
Main Researcher: Dr. Sivaruby Kanagratnam