Aqueous Components

The dispersed phase typically contains droplets of 1 to 20 fim in size. The primary aqueous material is water, to which may be added skim milk, salt, and water-soluble preservatives and/or flavorants. Lightly salted margarine is preferred in the United States. Typical salt concentration is about 1.5%.

Skim milk, whey, or other edible proteins are added to enhance the release of the flavor profiles and to permit the margarine or spread to perform in semblance of butter in shallow pan frying. The milk solids and protein will brown in the pan, leaving a golden color for frying. Water-based margarines that contain no milk products simply overheat and blacken in the pan. The flavor profiles are often described as deficient or not well rounded.

Lactic acid, if added, is both a flavorant and an acidu-lant. Addition of about 0.05% to 0.1% of lactic acid will reduce the typical serum phase pH to less then 5.5, which increases the effect of the preservatives.

The typical margarine and spread preservative system is a mix of potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, each added at about 0.10% by weight. These preservatives are added to sustain the resistance to microbial spoilage after the package has been opened in the home.

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