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Non Partially Hydrogenated Oil (PHO) Coatings for Encapsulated Ingredients

Posted by Tom Tongue and Walt Zackowitz on Nov 22, 2016

Non Partially Hydrogenated Oil (PHO) Coatings for Encapsulated Ingredients

In response to the implementation of the FDA ruling requiring food manufacturers to remove Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHO) from products, Innovative Food Processors (IFP) has rolled out a variety of compliant encapsulated food ingredients to replace those that formerly utilized PHO coatings. These coatings were formally used to provide improved physical stress and freeze-thaw survival and IFP's development effort resulted in new coatings that provide similar levels of functionality and performance.

Within the FDA's three-year phase out, food manufacturers have worked to reformulate products while keeping sensory profiles and performance the same (or better) to meet consumer expectations. The new specialty ingredients IFP introduced will allow functional food and nutrition formulators to confidently move to alternatives encapsulated ingredients and ensure meeting quality and performance standards.

Partially hydrogenated oils were developed in the 1970's as functional replacements for cocoa butters, lard, and tallow which had come under fire as unhealthy food ingredients. PHO's contributed desirable properties such as melt-away to baked goods and confections, among other applications. PHO's quickly became a common and economically attractive tools that were available in a wide range of melt-points and solid fat index commonly referred to as NMR values.

In the early 1980's, when food encapsulation technology was in its' infancy stage (and PHO's were considered safe), development work was being done to overcome brittleness properties of fully-hydrogenated oils.

At that time, performance of fully hydrogenated oils made it difficult to create an encapsulate that survives many common applications, especially in high-stress (e.g.: mixing) conditions, and more-so in chilled conditions (e.g.: meat processing). At that time, the economically attractive and consistently functional option was to add a small percentage of partially hydrogenated oils to the coating material to impart flex properties to fully hydrogenated oils. These 'blends' with partially hydrogenated oil modifiers became the tool of choice for over 30 years until the FDA concluded (June 2015) to remove PHOs from the GRAS list.

Specific to use of PHOs in IFP PrimeCAP ® encapsulated ingredients, by 2011, IFP was commercializing an enhanced patented spray system that consistently applied longer and thinner microscopic coating layers which extends the path that moisture needed to travel degrade the core active material.

IFP continues to research various lines of alternate coatings in which the PHO replacement is achieved by utilizing another coating “modifier”. IFP is confident in the duplicate or improved performance properties of the new non-partially hydrogenated oil ingredients as we say good bye to PHO's.

IFPs No-PHO PrimeCAP ® encapsulated ingredients include, but are not limited to, encapsulated citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, and fumaric acid, salts, sodium bicarbonate, vitamins and caffeine.

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