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Turning Margarine into a Healthier Choice of Fat

These days, consumers are more interested in healthy eating and is shifting towards functional foodstuffs that are associated with health functions such as prevention of diseases along with its nutritional effects10. Choices relating to fat intake does have major impacts on public health. The inappropriate energy balance has a high chance of leading this to weight gain or loss, while choices relating to the type of fat consumed can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)11.

Many attempts have been made by the oil and fat industries to reformulate and improve the nutritional quality of margarine by integrating functional ingredients that consumers are keen to see on the labels.

Chia Oil, the Power House of Omega Fatty Acids (FA)

Chia seeds produces about 35-40% good quality edible oil and possesses the highest concentration of omega-3 FA of all the available food sources6. Scientific evidences have shown that omega-3 FA have cardiac-protective, anti-inflammatory and hypotensive effects7. A study has demonstrated additional usage of chia oil to a base margarine blend of palm oil, palm kernel oil and butter significantly increased omega-3 FA content, including docosahexanoic acid (DHA). The challenging part when improving the functional value of margarine is to maintain the product stability which prevents development of rancid flavours, odours and toxic oxidation products. The results from the mentioned study appears promising in achieving this goal. The phenolic compounds of chia oil could enhance the oxidative stability of margarine without any addition of antioxidants8.

Inulin, The Fat Replacer

Recent market research reported that the global margarine market will be driven by consumer demand for food products that are highly nutritious yet low in fat and calorie5. In this quest, fat in the margarine can be replaced with inulin and can mimic the techno-functional properties of fat and possess low caloric value. The long chain inulin fractions are slightly soluble and relatively viscous when it combines with water hence creamy fat-like texture can be simulated1,12.

Vitamin Fortification, Optimising Food’s Goodness

Margarine is a convenient vehicle for the additional fat-soluble vitamins. There is over 40 countries mandate the fortification of edible oils and margarine with vitamin A and/or vitamin D3,9. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining vision, promoting growth and development, and protecting epithelium and mucus integrity in the body4. Deficiency of vitamin D affects the processes involved in the growth and metabolism of bone leading to osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children2.

Last but not least,

In the last few decades, the food industry has made fundamental changes to the way fats and oils are produced by means to provide “healthier” options to consumers with respect to fat choice. Currently, most margarine products offer better fat profiles which improve the consumers’ diet in terms of quality of fat and consequently overall health status. At DPO, we are honoured to be partners with Benexia, Beneo Orafti and Hexagon to bring you a wide range of ingredients choices that will elevate the quality of your oil and fat products.


1Ahmed, W., & Rashid, S. (2017). Functional and therapeutic potential of inulin: A comprehensive review. Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition, 59(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2017.1355775

2Chang, S., & Lee, H. (2019). Vitamin D and health – The missing vitamin in humans. Pediatrics & Neonatology, 60(3), 237-244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedneo.2019.04.007

3Global Fortification Data Exchange. (n. d.). GFDx – Providing actionable food fortification data all in one place. Retrieved from http://www.fortificationdata.org

4Huang, Z., Liu, Y., Qi, G., Brand, D., & Zheng, S. (2018). Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System. Journal Of Clinical Medicine, 7(9), 258. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090258

5Market Data Forecast. (2021). Global Margarine Market By Product (Soft, Hard, Liquid), By Application (Commercial and Household), and by Regional Analysis (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2021 – 2026). Industry Report.

6Mohd Ali, N., Yeap, S., Ho, W., Beh, B., Tan, S., & Tan, S. (2012). The Promising Future of Chia,Salvia hispanicaL. Journal Of Biomedicine And Biotechnology, 2012, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/171956

7Muñoz, L., Cobos, A., Diaz, O., & Aguilera, J. (2012). Chia seeds: Microstructure, mucilage extraction and hydration. Journal Of Food Engineering, 108(1), 216-224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2011.06.037

8Nadeem, M., Imran, M., Taj, I., Ajmal, M., & Junaid, M. (2017). Omega-3 fatty acids, phenolic compounds and antioxidant characteristics of chia oil supplemented margarine. Lipids In Health And Disease, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-017-0490-x

9Olson, R., Gavin-Smith, B., Ferraboschi, C., & Kraemer, K. (2021). Food Fortification: The Advantages, Disadvantages and Lessons from Sight and Life Programs. Nutrients, 13(4), 1118. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041118

10Ozcan, O., Ozcan, T., Yilmaz-Ersan, L., Akpinar-Bayizit, A., & Delikanli, B. (2016). The Use of Prebiotics of Plant Origin in Functional Milk Products. Food Science And Technology, 4(2), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.13189/fst.2016.040201

11Patel, A., Lecerf, J., Schenker, S., & Dewettinck, K. (2016). The Contribution of Modern Margarine and Fat Spreads to Dietary Fat Intake. Comprehensive Reviews In Food Science And Food Safety, 15(3), 633-645. https://doi.org/10.1111/1541-4337.12198

12Salijonova, S. D., & Ruziboev, A. T. (2020). Formulation of Low Saturated Margarine for Preventive Nutrition. International Journal Of Emerging Trends In Engineering Research, 8(7), 3447 – 3451.