The SPX Food and Beverage Innovation Center in Søborg, Denmark is well positioned to be a great resource for margarine producers and over the past decade, SPX’s Gerstenberg Schroder brand has hosted an annual training event at the facility. The training delves into the principles and practices of oil and fat crystallization, with a specific focus on how to use SPX equipment to successfully produce margarine that is free of trans fats.
Due to increased global health concerns about the negative impact of trans fatty acids, or trans fats as they are more commonly known, on cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health, the world has seen a corresponding rise in demand for food products that are free of trans fats. Scientific study findings have led to legislative initiatives and bans on trans fats that are now in effect in Denmark and the United States. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a labelling rule for products with trans fats that went into effect as far back as 2006.
This shift in sentiment about trans fats has caused many food processers to take steps to eliminate trans fats from their products. For global margarine producers, the elimination of trans fats from their products is an especially tricky situation. Traditionally, the margarine fat blend has consisted of both partially hydrogenated and unhydrogenated oils. In general, hydrogenated fats crystallize at a faster pace than unhydrogenated fats, which helps to achieve the desired consistency of the finished margarine product. However, during the hydrogenation process that occurs in margarine production, various trans fatty acids are formed. Trans fat-free formulations of margarine can often result in undesired consistency.
The training provides customers with a better understanding of the science behind and best practices in margarine processing—from formulation to packaging. Throughout the course, customers receive valuable instruction from SPX employees with extensive on-the-job expertise, as well as hands-on experience with the latest SPX products. The course also focuses on current marketplace trends and engages attendees in a discussion of what the future of the industry may hold.
This year, 30 customers participated in the four day training, which took place in September.
“We are happy to have hosted the attendees of this year’s training program at the SPX Innovation Center in Soborg,” said Claus Thorsen, Global Engineering Director Process Technology, SPX Food and Beverage. “With the knowledge and expertise shared by SPX margarine processing engineers and other experts, this year’s participants are well positioned to enhance the quality of their processes and achieve an improved final product.”