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From Palm Oil to Spread and Shortening

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

The demand for margarine and shortening has fluctuated over the years and is influenced by various factors such as health concerns, changing dietary trends, and the availability of alternative products.


In the past, margarine was widely used as a low-cost substitute for butter, but its popularity has declined due to concerns about its health impact and the availability of alternative spreads made from natural ingredients.


Shortening, which is a type of fat used in baking, has also been impacted by changing dietary trends and concerns about the health effects of consuming large amounts of trans fats, which are often present in shortening.


However, despite these concerns, both margarine and shortening continue to be used in certain applications, such as baking and deep-frying, where they are valued for their unique properties and ability to withstand high temperatures.


The market for margarine and shortening in Africa is diverse and varies greatly depending on the country and region. In some countries, such as South Africa and Egypt, the market is well-established and has been growing in recent years, driven by increasing urbanization, rising incomes, and growing demand for processed foods.


In other countries, such as those in West Africa, the market for margarine and shortening is less developed and is characterized by lower levels of consumption and lower levels of industrialization. However, this region is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years, driven by population growth, urbanization, and rising incomes a trend seen in Cameroon.


Cameroon is a market in Africa where the demand for margarine and shortening is relatively high, and has been growing in recent years. This is due to several factors, including a growing population, increasing urbanization, and rising incomes.


In Cameroon, margarine is widely used as a spread and as an ingredient in cooking and baking, while shortening is used in the production of baked goods and confectioneries. There is also a growing demand for healthier and more sustainable products, which is driving innovation in the margarine and shortening market.


In terms of production, Cameroon has a well-developed domestic industry that produces margarine and shortening for both the domestic and export markets. There are also a number of international companies operating in the country, which are helping to drive growth in the market.


Producing Margarine from palm oil.


Palm oil is widely used as a raw material in the production of margarine because it is relatively cheap and has a long shelf life. Additionally, palm oil has a neutral flavour and high stability, which makes it well-suited for use in food products such as margarine.


In the production process, palm oil is typically partially hydrogenated to create a solid fat that can be used as a substitute for butter or other animal fats. The partially hydrogenated palm oil is then blended with other ingredients, such as water, salt, and emulsifiers, to create a spreadable product with the desired texture and flavour. The production process for margarine typically involves the following steps:


Raw Material Collection: The first step in producing margarine is to gather the necessary raw materials, which typically include palm oil, water, salt, emulsifiers, and other ingredients, such as flavourings, colours, and preservatives.


Partial Hydrogenation: The palm oil is partially hydrogenated to create a solid fat that can be used as a substitute for butter or other animal fats. This process involves adding hydrogen gas to the oil under high pressure and temperature, which causes the oil to become partially solid.


Blending: The partially hydrogenated palm oil is then blended with other ingredients, such as water, salt, and emulsifiers, to create a homogenous mixture. This mixture is then cooled to room temperature to create a solid margarine base.


Emulsification: The margarine base is then mixed with additional ingredients, such as flavourings, colours, and preservatives, to create the final product. This process involves homogenizing the mixture under high pressure, which creates an emulsion that has a smooth and spreadable texture.


Packaging: The final margarine product is then packaged in suitable containers, such as tubs or sticks, and labelled with information about ingredients, nutritional content, and other relevant details.


Quality Control: The final product is then subjected to a series of quality control checks to ensure that it meets the required specifications and standards, such as texture, flavour, colour, and shelf life.


Producing Shortening from Palm Oil.


Producing shortening from palm oil is a common practice in the food industry. Palm oil is favoured for this application due to its high stability and neutral flavour, which makes it well-suited for use in baking and cooking. The production process for shortening typically involves the following steps:


Raw Material Collection: The first step in producing shortening is to gather the necessary raw materials, which typically include palm oil and other ingredients, such as emulsifiers, antioxidants, and flavourings.


Hydrogenation: The palm oil is then hydrogenated to create a solid fat that can be used as a substitute for butter or other animal fats. This process involves adding hydrogen gas to the oil under high pressure and temperature, which causes the oil to become partially or fully solid.


Blending: The hydrogenated palm oil is then blended with other ingredients, such as emulsifiers, antioxidants, and flavourings, to create a homogenous mixture. This mixture is then cooled to room temperature to create a solid shortening base.


Quality Control: The final shortening product is then subjected to a series of quality control checks to ensure that it meets the required specifications and standards, such as texture, flavour, colour, and shelf life.


Packaging: The final shortening product is then packaged in suitable containers, such as cans or pouches, and labelled with information about ingredients, nutritional content, and other relevant details.


It's worth noting that each process of producing margarine and shortening may vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific requirements of the product, but these are the general steps involved in the production of both products from palm oil.


Here are some video tips on production.



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