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Ever wondered what makes confectioneries delicious?

The sweetness from sweeteners and the melt-in-the-mouth feeling comes from fats. Palm oil in its various forms and fractions plays an important role in food manufacturing production, not just for the overall textures and mouthfeel, also to extend the shelf life of food, as well as to maintain the structural integrity. Let us walk through the functions of Malaysian palm oil and its products in some commonly consumed confectioneries.



Chocolate is one of the most loved confectionaries around the world, especially during holiday seasons. One main component that makes chocolate indulgent and decadent is the addition of fats. Traditionally, cocoa butter is added into chocolate production. However, due to the cost and insufficient supply, cocoa butter alternatives continue to be a key solution for long term profitable production. They are easily modified and more cost effective during production, yet still able to mimic the functions of cocoa butter. There are a few types of cocoa butter alternatives, in which, Cocoa Butter Equivalent (CBE) is the most compatible alternative to cocoa butter. It is usually derived from palm oil, palm kernel oil, shea, sal nut and mango kernel fat. 



In biscuit and cookie production, fats play vital roles to produce the crispy and crumbly texture. Typically, fats in solid or semi-solid state at room temperature are preferred as it makes dough handling and processing easier and more desirable. The semi-solid nature of palm oil makes it an excellent choice to manufacture confectionery fats such as palm-based margarine and shortenings, without the need to undergo partial hydrogenation process that produces harmful trans-fat. It is also heat stable and has high oxidative stability, which means that the end product will have a longer shelf life. Palm oil is ideal for baking as it is free of trans-fat and has high melting point, therefore it could withstand the mixing condition of dough of cookies, shortbread, biscuits, as well as able to trap air during baking and impart desired texture to baked products.  











Ice cream production involves incorporating oil and water, to generate oil-in-water emulsion. It is crucial for the fat component of ice cream to have sharp melting properties to ensure good organoleptic characteristics. Particularly, palm-based fat such as Malaysian palm oil and palm kernel oil fits nicely as a dairy fat substitute in ice cream as they are comparable to milk fat in their appearance, texture and melting properties. It is also suitable for non-dairy ice cream formulations.

By using palm-based fat in ice cream production, it gives the end product its desired smooth, creamy and velvety texture. It also helps to ensure good flavour stability in the finished product. 

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