Research & Development
- Technology essential for manufacture of oil and fat products
About interesterification technology
One of the technologies that cannot be overlooked in any discussion of oils and fats at Fuji Oil is interesterification technology. It is a type of processing technology used in the manufacture of various oil and fat products, including hard butters for chocolate, and oils and fats used in margarine and shortening.
Oils and fats are composed of glycerin and fatty acids. The change of a fatty acid bonded with glycerin into a different type of fatty acid is termed interesterification.
This technology includes a chemical method using a chemical catalyst and an enzymatic method using lipase. This section introduces hard butters for chocolate that were made by Fuji Oil using Enzymatic interesterification technology with lipase. They represent the world’s first successful industrialization through this method.
|Composition of oils and fats|
Successful development of an oil and fat alternative to cocoa butter
Cocoa butter extracted from the cacao bean has been used as an ingredient for making chocolate. However, because it is a natural substance, cocoa butter is highly expensive, and its quality and production volume are not stable. For these reasons, the world’s major oil and fat companies began looking for and researching oils and fats that could possibly become alternatives to cocoa butter.
One of the constituents of cocoa butter is triglyceride SOS fat. It is formed by the bonding of fatty acids, i.e., stearic acid (S) and oleic acid (O), with glycerin, in the order "SOS".
|SOS triallyl glycerol|
Companies around the world were swiftly pressing ahead with research aimed at achieving supply of a fat alternative to cocoa butter with a stable quality and efficient production of SOS fat. In this situation, Fuji Oil succeeded in making SOS fat through an interesterification technology that flew in the face of what was common sense up to that time, and replaced the first and third places of an OOO fatty compound with stearic acid.
Toward industrialization of hard butters for chocolate
In the mid 1980s, upon establishing this technology, Fuji Oil launched the world’s first industrialization and mass production of hard butters for chocolate that were made by application of lipase interesterification technology.
Application of enzymatic interesterification technology began in earnest with the production of hard butters for chocolate and is spreading to various other genres of food. Today, this technology is an indispensable one in the field of oil and fat processing.