A primary quality concern for frying oil and oil-containing food products is oxidative stability. Unstable oils can rapidly oxidize and lead to undesirable aromas and flavors (cardboard, paint, and fishy notes).
Increasing Shelf Life of Commodity Oils
A stable oil leads to not only increased shelf-life of the oil itself, but also to the final food product. Longer shelf-lives are a benefit to both consumers and food manufacturers, resulting in less food waste and costs.
Historically, there have been two broad approaches to increasing the shelf life of commodity oils – select an inherently more stable oil, such as a high oleic variety, or add an antioxidant to a standard oil. In some cases, the labeling of a synthetic antioxidant is a non-starter which makes selecting a high oleic variety an easy decision.
Oil Demand Outpacing Supply
Today’s oil market has new factors in play, like price. Renewable diesel has become a reliable alternative to fossil fuel, creating a higher demand for soybean oil. In some cases, government mandates are pushing the demand even further, resulting in a strain on the plant oil supply chain. Food Business News (June 2021) predicts this isn’t a temporary supply issue that will easily subside. Rather, demand will continue to outpace supply and it is likely prices will remain elevated for the next few years, potentially longer.
Natural Antioxidants Are The Solution
With both plant oil prices and availability creating a new set of challenges to food manufacturing companies, selecting a high oleic oil for stability may no longer be the simple or straightforward answer it once was. Additionally, consumers continue to demand clean labels with natural ingredients. These factors come together to make a natural antioxidant an attractive solution for balancing cost, efficacy, and clean label requirements.
Kalsec’s research and development team has leveraged their antioxidant expertise to identify the best naturally occurring antioxidant compounds. Read this white paper to see how adding a natural Kalsec antioxidant to a standard plant oil can be a cost-effective approach to improve the stability to match or even exceed that of a high oleic variety, while also maintaining a clean ingredient statement.
About the Author
Jennifer Young is a Senior Scientist on the Food Protection team at Kalsec, focused on researching antioxidant solutions for a variety of food applications. Jennifer earned a Master’s in Food Science from Purdue University in 2010. All 11 years of her food industry experience has been with ingredient companies with a heavy focus on bakery applications.