Hydrogenated Fat – Use or Not?

Hydrogenated Fat - Use or Not?

Various recipes for cookies, cakes and mainly toppings contain hydrogenated fat.
But, what exactly is hydrogenated fat?
Hydrogenated fat is actually a kind of unsaturated fat formed in the trans configuration (as opposed to saturated and unsaturated fats formed in the cis configuration) and obtained from the process of hydrogenation of vegetable oils in a natural or artificial way. The hydrogenated fat used in the recipes is usually that obtained from an artificial hydrogenation.
Why do they talk so much about hydrogenated fat?
Hydrogenated fat is that “trans fat” that is considered by doctors and specialists as harmful to health, as its consumption is linked to the increase in heart disease.
And yet it is used in gastronomy?
Yes. There are actually several uses of it:
-In restaurants for example, it is widely used to fry food because its smoke point is high, that is, even though it is high at high temperatures, hydrogenated fat will take time to burn, unlike olive oil and butter, for example. example.
– Hydrogenated fat does not leave a residual taste in fried foods; when the fat is in an electric fryer with a controlled and stable temperature and you will fry Donuts, for example, the result will always be a dry Donuts and you will not taste any of the oil.
-For industrialized products such as savory and sweet cookies, for example, that will go to the supermarket shelf, the use of hydrogenated fat will increase their validity.
-Foods prepared with hydrogenated fat have a lower need for refrigeration. Fat always acts as a preservative. However, animal fats after a certain time tend to oxidize and get that rancid taste and aroma, which will not happen with hydrogenated fat any longer.
-You can always replace hydrogenated fat in your recipe with some other animal fat such as butter. However, when we are talking about industrialized products that will be widely marketed, if they decide to replace hydrogenated fat with one of animal origin, many vegetarians will stop consuming this product. If the fat is still pork (lard), crops that do not consume pork will also stop buying this product. That is, commercially speaking, hydrogenated fat is much more versatile.
-In confectionery, hydrogenated fat is used because it gives a softer and lighter texture to certain recipes. Cookies made with hydrogenated fat, for example, grow larger and tend to get softer. The same recipe made with butter will bring a shorter and crunchier cookie. It all depends on the result you want to achieve. Of course, the recipe with butter will be much tastier because hydrogenated fat does not add any flavor.
-In the case of toppings, in which hydrogenated fat is widely used, the advantage of it is that, as it is white and not yellow like butter, the added dyes will have a color closer to the desired one.
– The same thing happens with the flavorings added to some sausage made with hydrogenated fat, which will have their most pronounced flavor, without interference from butter.
-Your cake with butter icing will need to go to the refrigerator to be stable, the one with hydrogenated fat will not. When removed from the refrigerator, the buttered cake will need a few minutes before it is consumed as the butter hardens a little.
-In ice cream mass, hydrogenated fat is added to make the dough more stable, that is, melt more slowly while you consume.
In the USA the Crisco brand already makes a type of vegetable fat without trans fat, 100% organic, but even so I find it very bizarre to consume fat that does not add any flavor, which is only beautifying, not to mention that greasy feeling that leaves in the mouth.
Anyway, even though I know the commercial and aesthetic advantages of hydrogenated fat, I still have butter. For the flavor it adds to the preparations and for always being a much healthier product.

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