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PROPERTIES AND CHARACTERISTICS

OF VARIOUS FATS AND OILS


NUTRITION 220
MEGAN CAMPBELL
02/10/12
SECTION 102

I.

INTRODUCTION
This lab was performed to identify the content and properties of various
commercially available fats. Students tested the effect of coating, melting points,
plasticity, cooking time, cooking temperature, and dough composition on fat
absorption.

II.

METHODOLOGY
The following procedures are taken from pages 61-68 Nutrition 220 Winter 2012
lab manual (Brannan 2012). The first procedure was a test of various fats where the
melting points, volumes, solidification temperature, and appearance were recorded for
each fat. Procedure B was done in order to record penetration of fats at room
temperature, refrigerator temperature, and frozen temperature by using a
penetrometer. Procedure C was an evaluation of different types of fat through the
senses. The next procedure was carried out to determine the effect of cooking
temperature on fat absorption. The next procedure was a test of the effect of cooking
time on fat absorption. For both these two procedures the food being cooked was
biscuits and the preparation method was frying in a deep fryer. Finally the last
process was an evaluation of different coatings of chicken.

III.

RESULTS

Table One: Melting Point and Composition of Solid Fats


Type of Fat

Melting
Point
Final
(F)
141

Volume
Water(ml)

Volume Solidification
Total
Temperature
(ml)
(F)

Appearance
of Solid Fat

Shortening

Melting
Point
Initial
(F)
81

63

84

Margarine

85

120

21

63

None

Smart Balance 55

120

18

60

None

Promise
Active

78

113

38

67

None

Butter

78

135

12

77

None

Lard

96

155

69

82

Off white,
smooth
Light/
medium
yellow
Shiny, light
yellow
Light
yellow,
smooth
Shiny, light
yellow
White, thick

Table Two: Plasticity of Fats


Type of Fat

Room
Temp
Penetration
(mm)

Refrigerator Refrigerator Frozen


Temp
Temp Fat
Temp
Penetration Temp (F)
Penetration
(mm)

177mm
148mm
156mm

Room
Temp
Fat
Temp
(F)
71
71
71

163mm
144mm
81mm

71
61
61

96mm
44mm
50mm

Frozen
Temp
Fat
Temp
(F)
70
50
49

Shortening
Margarine
Smart
Balance
Promise
Active
Butter
Lard

198mm

71

152mm

63

99mm

61

58.5mm
160mm

71
71

41mm
74mm

58
66

14.5mm
60mm

58
59

Weight gain/loss (g)

1.5
1
0.5
0
-0.5
-1
225

275

325

375

Temperature in Fahrenheit

Figure One: Shows weight gain/loss after biscuits were fried at various temperatures.

0.2
0.1
0

Weight (g)

-0.1
-0.2
-0.3
-0.4
-0.5
-0.6
-0.7
-0.8
30

60

90

120

Time (seconds)
Figure Two: Shows weight gain/loss after biscuits were fired at various time intervals

IV.

DISCUSSION
When finding the melting points of the different fats in procedure one, the most solid
fats such as shortening, butter, and lard had the highest melting points. These results
make sense because with an increase in saturated fat, comes an increase in melting
point. These fats with the high melting points also had the lowest content of water in
their volume. For the solidification temperature test, shortening solidified at 84
degrees and the lard solidified at 82 degrees. The rest of the butters and margarines
did not ever solidify. This is because after heating them, the emulsions were broken
and were no longer able to become a consistent solid. Also the butter did not solidify
because it was a cream based product. For procedure B, the measurement of
penetration decreased as the temperature declined with every fat. These results are
expected because as oil becomes colder in temperature, the firmness is likely to rise.
For procedure D, the results show that when the dough was cooked at higher
temperatures, more fat was absorbed. Dough cooked the longest was darker in color
and very oily. If a biscuit lost weight it was a result of lost water weight which
evaporated among cooking. For the final procedure, the purpose was to test the
relationship between fat absorption and cooking time. The results show that longer
cooking time causes more fat absorption. Similar to the results of procedure D, the
longer cooked biscuits turned out oilier, and darker with appearance.

V.

CONCLUSION
The results of this lab allowed students to observe and learn about the
characteristics of various commercially available fats. If there was error in this lab, it
may have been caused by inaccurate timing in different procedures. For example
students may have cooked biscuits either longer or shorter than the proposed time.
Also, results of the penetration test could be inaccurate if the fats were not placed in
the refrigerator or freezer for the appropriate time. Understanding the composition of
various fats is important in the understanding of their different characteristics.

VI.

REFERENCES
Brannan, R. (2012). Laboratory: Sensory analysis of food. In Nutrition 220 (pp.6168).