A 12-month shelf-life study evaluated the oxidative stability, application review and texture analysis of high oleic soybean, high oleic canola, conventional soybean, canola, partially hydrogenated and palm bakery shortenings, according to U.S. Soy.

The United Soybean Board reports that high oleic soybean shortening showed the least amount of change in texture compared to alternatives, including partially hydrogenated oil.

Finished white cakes made with various high-stability oils were measured for dome-peak and edge height as well as dome-peak height to edge ratio.

USB fats & oils expert Frank Flider explains that bakers can expect high oleic soybean shortening to be a drop-in solution for previously used shortenings. The benefit, among many, is no trans fat.

“We did quite a lot of research, and this is truly is a drop-in solution for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs),” he says. “Bakers can expect the same kind of performance.”

Cakes made with high oleic soybean shortening were most similar to cakes made with partially hydrogenated shortening.

The cakes made with conventional soybean and palm shortening showed the most difference in dome-peak to edge ratio from the partially hydrogenated shortening.

A cookie application test compared baked sugar cookies made with high-stability shortenings. The results showed all shortenings produced a similar product to partially hydrogenated oil in cookie spread, height and weight.
The biggest differences were seen with high oleic canola, conventional soybean and palm bakery shortenings, which produced shorter cookies than partially hydrogenated oil.

The results for spread, height and weight were obtained by randomly selecting six cookies from each time interval and averaging the measurements. All shortening achieved similar results to partially hydrogenated oil.

Cookies made with high oleic soybean and conventional soybean shortenings had a more tender mouthfeel.

Further insights

Roger Daniels, vice president research, development, innovation and quality for Stratas Foods, explains that, technically speaking, the importance of the flavor of the margarine increases with the type and quantity of the cookie’s inclusions.

The less reliance on the flavor of the inclusions, the more important the flavor of the margarine. That means looking toward specialized bakery margarines. For example, a bakery margarine like Stratas’ Buckeye Baker’s margarine, which has the same texture as softened butter, is an outstanding option when making cookies.

Buckeye Baker’s Margarine is prepared with a heat stable flavor system which imparts an authentic buttery taste in your best cookies and for that matter all of your baked goods.
In addition, muffins require a shortening that incorporates quickly and has a neutral flavor profile, he explains.

“The biggest mistake one can make is to do too much to a muffin. If you overmix it, it won’t be a good muffin. Liquid oils lend themselves to overmixing,” Daniels says.

Specifically, the role of a shortening is to prevent the gluten development that can make a muffin hard and chewy with an uneven crumb structure. Stratas’ BBS Shortening is an all-purpose unemulsified shortening used in a variety of baking applications. Use of a shortening like Stratas’ BBS has the right consistency to drive the optimum dough time and time again, he says.