Lauric alternatives

Lauric fats are based on Palm kernel or Coconut oil; as such or in (partially) hardened form or in interesterified form with other fats

The positive aspects of lauric fats can be summarised as:

  • Not so sensitive for oxidation and so good taste keepability
  • Steep N-line (high N10 and low N35); good oral melt
  • Fast crystallisation

But the price of lauric fats can be higher than other oils/fats. So it can be interesting to have an alternative of lauric available (flexibility of fat blends).

Various lauric alternatives are possible. The table below indicates the importance of the constraints for each application, in which laurics are used.

Low N35
Biscuit/cracker spraying
X   X  
Creams and biscuit fillings
  X X  
Biscuit coating
  X   X
Sugar confectionery
  X X X
Ice cream
X   X  
Ice cream coating
X   X X
Non-dairy cream
X X X  
X   X  

A second reason to use non-laurics is the risk for soapy taste; by the presence of lipase activity (e.g. in ingredients or in the environment) and humidity, free fatty acids are formed. The lauric types of free fatty acids give a strong soapy taste.
Although the fat is the victim and not the cause of the soapy taste, most of the time the lauric fat will be replaced by a non-lauric fat.
A direct alternative (with the same properties) will be difficult to find; the better the constraints are known, the easier it is to find an alternative as close as possible.

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Copyright 2002 Gabrie Lansbergen Fats for Foods Consultant

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