No more weepy doughnuts with palm oil

I'm just staring at the box of J.Co Donuts that some public relations lady dropped off on the editors' table. Mmm ... smells good.

That got me thinking of J.Co Donuts founder Johnny Andrean saying the frying, dough and topping fats forms the bulk of the cost in a finished doughnut. He also said using the right blend of oils and fats gives the right flavour and texture.

Incidentally, all other doughnut specialty shops in Malaysia like Big Apple and Dunkin' Donuts use palm olein and baking fat because it can withstand extreme deepfry heat and sets quickly on cooling.

That is how you get a firm doughnut and best of all, it does not weep oil into the packaging. Palm olein is also a favourite frying medium because its natural antioxidants — vitamin A and E — protects against off-flavours.

In the US, doughnuts are a big business. Donuts cannot be fried in canola oil, soy oil or any other liquid oils. These soft oils leach out of the doughnut. Other than an oily mess, the doughnuts smell and taste bad because soft oils oxidise easily in extreme deepfry heat. In overcoming this 'weepy' and off-flavour problem, doughnuts are fried in solid fats.

Food scientists in the US make solid fats by hydrogenating soft oils like soya oil, canola, cottonseed and sunflower. All was well until in the last decade or so, mounting medical studies revealed that the hydrogenation of soft oils resulted in the deadly trans fat that is linked with health problems like heart disease and stroke.

This prompted the US government to legislate against artery-clogging trans fat. New York City has started the ball rolling and now, California state is banning trans fat from consumers' diet.

Big doughnut franchisors like Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, in doing away with the deadly trans fat, have switched over from using partially-hydrogenated soft oils to heart-healthy palm olein and bakery fat.

Following cleverboy's comment, Business Times Malaysia has contacted IOI Group's Loders Croklaan in north America. A big thank you to IOI Group's Lee Yeow Seng for promptly facilitating this interview with Loders Croklaan vice president of R&D and marketing Dr Gerald McNeill.

6 Responses to No more weepy doughnuts with palm oil

  1. Palm Olein has in fact more wonderful properties
    for frying of speciality food products.
    In Japan for e.g.tempura is fried in a special
    tempura oil that gives a crispy and non-oily taste.Good quality tempura oil is a mixture of palm olein enzymatically interesterified with a
    small quantity of soft oil. If the next time you
    taste tempura and find the taste quality good, it is most likely fried in tempura oil, otherwise,question the chef what oil type he used.
    There will soon be in the market palm olein that
    are specially made to conform with AHA's recommended Fatty Acids composition that is whole
    hearty and good for health. Look out for more of
    these wonder oil............

  2. For a long time in the US, doughnuts are deepfried in hydrogenated soyabean and canola oils which are laden with the killer trans fat.
    It is now changing as the US government is banning this poison from the consumers' diet.

  3. Very educational! No wonder J Co. donuts tastes so great! Unending cues at the Pavillion! Thanks Tee Ching! Keep it up!

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