MARGARINE AND SHORTENING
Margarine is a semi-solid emulsion composed mainly of vegetable fats and water. While butter is derived
from milk fat, margarine is mainly derived from plant oils and fats and may contain some skimmed milk.
Margarine has a minimum fat content of 80%, the same as butter, but unlike butter reduced-fat varieties
of margarine can also be labelled as margarine.
Modern margarines can be made from any of a wide variety of animal or vegetable fats, mixed with skim milk,
salt, and emulsifiers. Margarines and vegetable fat spreads found in the market can range from 10 to 90
fat. Depending on its final fat content and its purpose (spreading, cooking or baking,
the level of water
and the vegetable oils used will slightly vary.
Three types of margarine are common:
Soft vegetable fat spreads, high in mono-or polyunsaturated fats, which are made from safflower,
soybean, cottonseed, rapeseed, or olive oil.
Margarines in bottles to cook or top dishes.
Hard, generally uncolored margarine for cooking or baking. (Shortening)
Vegetable shortening shares many
properties with lard: both are semi-solid fats with a higher smoke point than butter and margarine.
They contain less water and are thus less prone to splattering, making them safer for frying. Lard and
have a higher fat content compared to about 80% for butter and margarine.