Palsgaard claims world first with palm-free powdered emulsifier

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Danish emulsifier company Palsgaard claims to have developed the first palm-free powdered emulsifier for industrial cake production.

Palsgaard SA 6615 solves the challenges faced by the industry in the quest to remove palm oil from cake recipes without damaging product quality.

“In a few of the markets we serve around the world, negative sentiment around palm oil is now prompting some manufacturers to remove palm oil ingredients from their products entirely,” said Arne Pedersen, a global product and application manager for Palsgaard.

Removing the palm oil itself is an easy process – but finding an efficient and palm-free emulsifier that still allows manufacturers to continue producing cakes with moistness and optimal flavour has presented the industry with a challenging problem, Palsgaard said.

Difficulties have persisted around shelf life, preparation, ‘whippability’, mechanical robustness and dosage.

Pedersen continued: “Making a new emulsifier in powder form is even more difficult. But it’s best because, compared with gels, shortenings or other emulsifiers in paste form, powdered emulsifiers make production easier, more cost-efficient and safer.

“For example, it simplifies production, saving both time and energy as powdered forms require only a few minutes of preparation before being ready for use. In fact, Palsgaard SA 6615 offers the same fast and instant aeration and emulsification as cake gels, but outperforms gels by far when it comes to shelf-life, as it will remain ‘whipping active’ for 18 months.”

Palm oil still the most sustainable solution

Pedersen sees the new ingredient as a response to ‘a clear market need’, but still believes that palm oil is the most sustainable way to meet the requirements of the world’s growing population.

Emulsifiers based on palm oil, particularly where the latter is produced in accordance with Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles, are known to be far more sustainable in yield and functionality than those produced from other crops such as soy, for example,” Pedersen said.

“So, while palm-free ingredients do allow new label claims, in reality Palsgaard SA6615 simply extends the range of options brands can select to meet consumer preferences.”