There’s a big demand for foods made with fewer ingredients (clean label) and that trend is finally reaching the supermarket bakery department. Thanks to versatile, natural products such as cost-effective Malaysian sustainable palm shortening, commercial bakers can get rid of things like partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats without sacrificing taste or performance.

Palm oil’s 50/50 ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids make it the only vegetable oil that acts almost like butter in baking. This makes it ideal for plant-based treats. Plus, it’s shelf-stable so bakers can cut back on, or eliminate, preservatives. And it has a neutral taste. That’s why palm oil and palm shortening are becoming go-to ingredients for industry innovators.

Michael Itskovich, founder and director of innovation and R&D for Nikola’s Bakery, explains why he’s committed to using Malaysian palm shortening: “A major portion of our new product development is in the better-for-you and plant-based worlds. Malaysian palm oil is a vegan, plant-based alternative to butter. It functions closer to butter than margarine. It creams better and holds volume better. It even has a pleasant mouthfeel and blends well with other oils.”

Itskovich further explains why he specifies palm shortening from Malaysia: “Malaysia’s palm shortening is so much better than all other commodity products. It does more than perform well. It is also cost effective, sustainable, naturally non-GMO and trans-fat free, which are all great talking points for the finished products.”

More than half of Americans say environmental sustainability is an important factor in their food purchases, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2021 Food and Health Survey.

It’s also loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, appealing to the majority of Americans surveyed who consider healthfulness when making purchases. Consumers love seeing Malaysian sustainable palm oil on an ingredient list just as much as commercial bakeries love using it!

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