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Evaluation of Shortening

Sponge cakeAs shortening is used for many different applications, no fixed standards exist for this typical fat product. Shortening for frying and cooking purposes is subjected to frying and cooking tests. Plasticity, consistency and structure are the most important properties in regard to extruded bakery shortening.

For evaluation of extruded bakery shortening, please see the following suggestions:

Numerous pieces are cut off the shortening (approximately 1 - 1½ cm in width). The pieces are bent and kneaded. If the shortening exhibits a poor plasticity, the shortening will break during bending; the poorer the plasticity, the more breaking. A good plasticity is when the product stays in shape without breaking during bending.

Force your thumb into the shortening. Consistency is estimated as being a bit or very soft or hard. It can also be evaluated if the shortening is homogeneous.

The structure is evaluated visually. Is the shortening layered, sandy and/or lumpy? Cut a piece of shortening and evaluate if the shortening looks layered or homogeneous.

Flavor evaluation
A correct flavor range does not exist since human preference varies around the world. Initially, the appearance of the product surface along with the scent is evaluated prior to the taste. It is very important to describe observations in detail, e.g. buttery, fruity or creamy. If the taste of salt is present, this is noted. Does the flavour appear quickly or slowly? Flavor release is, besides other factors, a question of the melting point of the fat phase. If the melting point is relatively high, the flavor will normally appear slowly.

Mouth feel
This parameter is not important in regard to shortening.