Bakery Shortening Evaluation

High Oleic Soybean Shortening

Soy Shortening

Functionality tests conducted by QUALISOY, in collaboration with Stratas Foods, showed that U.S.-grown, soy-based shortenings are an excellent ingredient for the food industry, performing and functioning similarly to partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) shortenings in bakery applications.

Puff Pastries

Soy-based baker’s margarines, a new ingredient which will soon be introduced to the market, are formulated with high oleic soybean oil or conventional soybean oil or combinations of both, and outperformed palm and PHO in puff pastry applications in terms of finished bake height and structure, as well as desired honeycomb texture, which adds to overall likeability. Soy-based solutions performed on par with butter, which is considered the “gold standard” for puff pastry.

Thanks to its wide working temperature range, excellent melting properties and general ease of workability, U.S.-grown high oleic soybean shortening meets the baking industry’s need for a functional, sustainable ingredient for puff pastries.

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Baked Puff Pastry Height Chart

Tests compared puff pastries analytically and visually for color and appearance. All margarines in the study showed a wide range of differences in firmness and functionality when measured at various working temperatures on the texture analyzer.

The ideal puff pastry will show even layer separation and puff height, and maintain height after baking. The palm-based baker’s margarine produced pastries with the least amount of height, resulting in pockets rather than layers in finished rolled and baked dough. While butter-based pastries showcased the greatest height, the layers toppled over after baking.

Puff pastries made with high oleic soybean baker’s margarine produced the ideal height and even, honeycomb layers.

High oleic soybean oil baker’s margarine better-maintained its plasticity under both cool and warm temperature conditions compared to alternative margarines, and allowed for a larger working temperature range for the dough.

Puff Pastry Comparison Chart

Pie Crusts

Finished Pie Comparison Charts

High oleic soybean shortening, which is developed through interesterification, performed as well or better than PHO, and outperformed palm-based shortenings and lard in all pie dough evaluations, including firmness, flakiness, height and temperature workability.

Blind Baked Crust Comparison Chart

Similar to the puff pastry study, pie crust shortenings were tested at both refrigerated and room temperatures. In the study, high oleic soybean shortening produced pie crusts with desired characteristics, including evenly browned, textured, flaky crust with an ideal finished product height and minimal shrink. The dough made with high oleic soybean shortening also proved to be versatile, performing equally well under hand-rolling and a pie press. Pie crusts made with palm shortening resulted in the least height and showcased uneven browning and excess shrink while using the pie press.

Hand Rolled Shell Comparison Chart

Pie Press Shell Comparison Chart

High oleic soybean shortening also reduced moisture uptake in pie crusts, preventing them from becoming soggy and helping to maintain texture and mouthfeel. Conventional soybean shortening was comparable to high oleic soybean shortening for mouthfeel.

White Cake Application

Finished white cakes were measured for dome peak and edge height as well as dome peak height to edge ratio. The results indicate that cakes made with IE high oleic soybean shortening were most similar to cakes made with industry standard PHO shortening. 

The cakes made with IE conventional and palm shortening showed the most difference in dome peak to edge ratio from the PHO shortening.

Sugar Cookies Application

In the cookie application test, baked sugar cookies made with PHO shortening alternatives were compared to cookies made with PHO shortening. The test results showed all shortenings produced a similar product to the PHO standard in cookie spread, height and weight. 

The biggest differences were with IE high oleic canola, IE conventional soybean and palm bakery shortenings, which produced less cookie height than the PHO standard. 

Average Height Finished Cookie

The results for spread, height, and weight were obtained by randomly selecting six cookies from each time interval and averaging the measurements obtained.  All shortening resulted in similar results to industry standard PHO.

However, cookies made with IE high oleic soybean and conventional soybean shortenings had a more tender mouthfeel.

Average Spread Finished Cookie