A group of researchers at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), led by Dr. Sivaruby Kanagaratnam has successfully formulated margarine with palm oil-based structural fats suitable for refrigeration and non-refrigeration.
The margarine, formulated by MPOB can be used in a wide temperature range from 5°C to 35°C. Thus, it can cater for the needs of margarine made from two different formulations, namely margarine that requires refrigeration temperature (works in the temperature range of 5°C to 25°C) and without refrigeration temperature (works in the temperature range of 25°C to 35°C).
Refrigerated margarine can be used directly from the refrigerator and does not experience oil separation at the operating temperature. Margarine without refrigeration on the other hand, has a higher melting point than refrigerated margarine because this margarine is stored and used in the temperature range of 25°C to 35°C. Margarine without refrigeration can harden when stored at temperatures lower than 10°C. Therefore, these two types of margarine require two different types of oil blends to meet different storage temperatures.
Dr Sivaruby said, the margarine created by MPOB is formulated with palm-based special fats to enable the formation of oil crystal matrix for the structuring of refrigerated and non-refrigerated margarine products, making them very different in their physical and chemical characteristics.
"The mixture of margarine we created does not require a hydrogenation process to achieve the required functions. The effective oil entrapment ability of palm oil- based structural fat enabled the robust formation of oil crystal matrix, which contributes to the firmness and consistent texture of this solid margarine product to maintain its structure from 5°C - 35°C," explained Dr. Sivaruby.
MPOB-formulated margarine is 100% plant-based, more cost effective as it does not require refrigeration. Thus, it can save on transportation and storage costs.
Therefore, margarine manufacturers are encouraged to commercialise this margarine formulated by MPOB.
This MPOB-formulated margarine is a value-added product to existing margarine products. The production of this margarine does not require additional equipment or facilities. A factory with basic equipment with a room temperature of 25°C is sufficient to produce this margarine.