Nonionic Emulsifiers

Monoglycerides and Derivatives. The manufacture of monoglycerides and derivatives used by the food industry were estimated to be more than 200 million lb in 1981 (35). The use of monoglycerides in food products first began in the 1930s when superglycerinated shortening became commercially available. Glycerine was added to ordinary shortening along with a small amount of alkaline catalyst, the mixture was heated causing some interesterification of triglyceride with the glycerine, and the catalyst was removed by neutralization and washing with water. The resulting emulsified shortening contained about 3% monoglyceride and was widely used for making cakes, particularly with high sugar levels. Subsequent use of monoglyceride to retard staling (crumb firming) in bread used plastic monoglyceride made by altering the ratio of glycerine to fat to achieve a higher final concentration of monoglyceride, with most of the remainder being diglyceride (commercial mono- and diglycerides may contain from 42 to 60% a-monoglyceride). Later developments in monoglyceride technology include (1) distilled monoglyceride, consisting of a minimum of 90% monoglyceride; (2) hydrated monoglyceride, which contains roughly 25% monoglyceride, 3% sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), and 72% water, forming a lamellar mesophase for better water dispersibility; and (3) powdered distilled monoglyceride in which the composition of the original feedstock fat is balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids so that the resulting powder hydrates fairly rapidly during mixing in an aqueous system such as bread dough.

The monoglyceride structure shown in Figure 3 is for 1-monostearin, also called a-monostearin. If the fatty acid is esterified at the middle hydroxyl, the compound is 2-monostearin, or /i-monostearin. In technical specifications manufacturers usually give the monoglyceride content of their product as a percentage of a-monoglyceride. The routine analytical method for monoglyceride (6) detects only the 1-isomer; quantitation of the 2-isomer is much more tedious. The total monoglyceride content of a product is about 10% higher than the reported a-monoglyceride content. In a practical sense, however, when the functionality and cost effectiveness of various products are being compared, the a-monoglyceride content is a useful number because for all products it equals about 91% of the total monoglyceride present.

The fatty acid composition of monoglyceride reflects the makeup of the triglyceride fat from which it is made. Com-

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