What are the applications of Lipids in the foodindustry? Lipids are a major component of food and important structural andfunctional constituents of cells in biological systems. As a class, lipidscontribute many desirable qualities to foods, including attributes of texture,structure, mouth-feel, flavor, and colour. Lipids are a group ofnaturally occurring molecules that includes fats, waxes, monoglycerides,diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (suchas vitamins A, D, E, and K), and others. The basic industrial applications oflipids include; production of Chinese steamed, used in salad dressings, used asan emulsifying agent and baking just to mention but a few.
Lipids are defined on the basis of theirsolubility characteristics, not primarily their chemical composition. The term ‘lipids’is defined as those organic molecules that are insoluble in water, soluble inorganic solvents for example chloroform, methanol and ether. Various applicationsof lipids in the food industry are elaborated further as this paper unfolds.
Bakery Fats (shortenings)Shortenings are fats used in the preparation of many foods. This is becausethey impart a tender quality to baked goods, they are called shortenings. Thesecost-effective shortenings and butter substitutes ensure a crisp bite inbiscuits, cookies, crackers and pastry, a good crumb structure and volume inbread and cakes and fillings with a creamy, full-bodied taste. At the sametime, fats have anti-staling properties awarding to desirable eatingcharacteristics are just as evident on the last day in storage as they are onthe first.Hydrogenated shortenings may be made from a single hydrogenated fat, butare usually made from a blend of two or more hydrogenated fats. For example,partially hydrogenated cottonseed or palm oil may be blended with partiallyhydrogenated soybean oil for improved performance properties, such as creamyconsistency and good storage stability. Thus, in the manufacture ofhydrogenated shortenings, considerable flexibility is possible providing a widechoice of finished product characteristics. Lipids also affect thefunctional properties of foods; for example, they help to retain carbon dioxidein dough, thus increasing the final volume of bakery products duringfermentation.
Applicationin noodlesIn the production of noodles, lipids play a vital role. Elimination offree lipids on hard wheat and soft wheat greatly improved the color (whiteness)and strength of dry noodles. It also increased the cutting stress. Non polarlipids and glycolipids also decreased breaking stress of dry noodles. Lipidsalso interact with starch there by improving color and reducing cooking time Chinese steamed bread The main importance oflipids is their influence on the sensory properties. They affect the textureand increase the viscosity of the morsel after mixing with saliva, highviscosity is appreciated by many consumers. The most desirable influence oflipids is their effects on the odor and flavor of food products.
Plant lipids,being more unsaturated than animal lipids, produce different flavor notes as aresult of culinary operations. Inbaking Chinese steamed bread, lipids and polar lipids increase the breadvolume. During mixing lipids are attached to the gluten contents which willassociate with different free polar lipids.
The binding of free lipids withgluten proteins may also allow them to align at the interface of gas cells.This will increase the retention of carbon dioxide during fermentation. Fatsused to make dough of various types are almost entirely plastic fats which aremixtures of solid and liquid components that form a solid at certaintemperatures and they change their shape when a certain pressure is applied. Salad dressings In food industry,lipids are also used in the preparation of mayonnaise. This is because lipidsused are oxidatively stable and free of solids even when exposed to coldtemperatures. Vegetable oils are widely used. Soy bean oil and canola oil whichcontain linoleic acid are usually incorporated since they are partiallyhydrogenated so that they are oxidatively stable.
Margarine Fats are used in the manufacture of margarine where fats are hardenedusing hydrogen gas, heat, catalyst, pressure and agitation. Lipids also bearsthe plasticity property which enables them not to melt at a given fixedtemperature but over extensive range of temperatures. This is because fats aremixtures of triglycerides (contain three different fatty acids) all withdifferent melting points.
Hydrogen is added to carbon double bonds of fatty acids.The unsaturated fat becomes saturated. The liquid fat is hardened to form asolid margarine and shortenings. The margarine will be used for spreads.
Application in ediblecoatingHigh-fat biscuits andcookies taste good at any time of day. But when fat migration causes theirglossy chocolate coatings to fade, becoming dull and grey in appearance, theirconsumer appeal rapidly fades with them. Vegetable fats for compound coatingsare produced from standard raw materials for oils and fats, such as palm oil,soybean oil, rapeseed and palm kernel oil. Although sophisticated processing isemployed to give the desired characteristics, they are significantly cheaperthan cocoa butter which allows manufacturers of compounds to save on rawmaterial costs.Confectionary FatsChocolate flavoredproducts are used not only in traditional confectionery products but also inbakery, ice cream and many other areas. Composed of cocoa powder or liquor,sugar and specially designed vegetable fats, chocolate flavored compounds maybe a better choice than real chocolate.
Ice cream fatsA well-oiled ice creamdepends on the good, well-rounded body and rich, creamy taste that fat provides,it also makes the texture of the ice cream easier to adjust to the demandsspecified and allows higher production output. Vegetable fats also have theimportant advantage over milk fat that they make it possible to balance thecontent of saturated and poly-unsaturated fats in the composition and to reducethe cholesterol content. Lipids in ice cream performs various functions some ofwhich are; the fats act as a lubricant and must melt properly during eating, thefats act as a modifier, on which depends the texture of an ice cream. The fat’sperformance during aging, freezing and aeration is very important. Further thefats act as a flavor carrier and for that reason it must have a smooth tastethat does not mask any added flavors.In conclusion, lipids areused as crucial raw materials in a wide range of convenience foods such assoups, sauces and party dips, powdered foods, mixes for bread and cakes, aswell as coffee whiteners. Lipids are used as well for manufacturingemulsifiers, food additives and nutritional supplements.