Food | Edible Oil Analysis | Measurement of Iodine Value
Edible fats and oils are among the most important ingredients of numerous industrially produced foods
Edible oils are used in many of our everyday foods. Depending on their structure, they fulfill specific functions and can directly influence the quality and properties of the final product in which they are processed.
This is also the case with chocolate or other foods with chocolate taste where the composition of the added edible fat has a significant influence on the structure, creaminess, viscosity, texture and shelf life of the end product. Particularly in the case of such luxury foods, even very slight visible or tangible changes are perceived by the consumer. In order to ensure consistently high quality and high reproducibility of the end product, it is therefore essential to continuously monitor oil specific parameters during the manufacturing process.
Since the composition of the oil or fat used has an influence on various properties of the chocolate, it is important to determine them very precisely directly in the process before they are added to the cocoa mass so that even slight deviations can be detected and, if necessary, intervened upon.
Manual laboratory analyses are time-consuming and involve high costs
Conventional sampling and analysis in the laboratory require sample manipulation and trained personnel. The results of the measurement are also not immediately available. During the measurement in the laboratory, the process continues, so that deviations are not immediately detected, and, in the worst case, can lead to waste.
Manufacturing processes in the food industry are subject to strict hygiene standards
Another special challenge in the production of foodstuffs is the high requirements placed on the hygienic properties of the plant equipment. The measuring instruments must be designed in a way that excludes contamination and cross-contamination. The measuring technology used must not influence the process.
In the production of chocolate or chocolate-flavored foods, edible oil can substitute cocoa butter up to a certain percentage.
Essential quality parameters such as a hard or soft structure depend on the composition of the edible fat used. For quality assurance, the direct measurement of the iodine value of the processed edible oil is very important.
Iodine value and fatty acid profile are the identity markers of a specific oil
The iodine number is a unit of measurement used in food chemistry to determine the unsaturated fatty acid content of a substance. It indicates how many grams of iodine can be absorbed by 100 grams of a substance. It is frequently used to characterize vegetable and animal fats and oils. The higher the iodine number, the more unsaturated fatty acids the substance contains. Therefore, the iodine number can serve as an indicator for the oxidation stability of fats and oils. From a low iodine value, it can be concluded that the oil contains mainly saturated fatty acids.
The fatty acids are decisive for the texture of the chocolate. A high saturation of fatty acids in the oil means that the chocolate becomes hard at room temperature.
Cocoa mass, which contains edible oil with a high iodine value and thus few saturated fatty acids, remains creamy and is used, for example, in the processing of creamy chocolate-like spreads.
A more detailed description on how this application was realized using online measurement technology can be found in our detailed application report, which you can download from the info column at the top of the page.