is a spread used for spreading, baking, and cooking. It was originally created as a substitute for butter in 1869 in France by Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès. Margarine is made mainly of refined plant oils and fats and water.
While butter is made from fat from milk, margarine is made from plant oils and may also contain milk
. In some locales it is colloquially referred to as "oleo", short for oleomargarine.
Margarine, like butter, consists of a water-in-fat emulsion, with tiny droplets of water dispersed uniformly throughout a fat phase which is in a stable crystalline form. Margarine has a minimum fat content of 80%, the same as butter, but unlike butter reduced-fat varieties of margarine can also be labelled as margarine.Margarine can be used both for spreading or for baking and cooking. It is also commonly used as an ingredient in other food products, such as pastries and cookies, for its wide range of functionalities.
The basic method of making margarine today consists of emulsifying a blend of vegetable oils and fats, which can be modified using fractionation, interesterification, and/or hydrogenation, with skimmed milk, chilling the mixture to solidify it and working it to improve the texture. Vegetable and animal fats are similar compounds with different melting points. Those fats that are liquid at room temperature are generally known as oils. The melting points are related to the presence of carbon-carbon double bonds in the fatty acids components. Higher number of double bonds give lower melting points.
Most margarines are vegetable-based and thus contain no cholesterol. 100 grams of butter contains 178 mg of cholesterol.
Plant sterol esters and stanol estersPlant sterol esters or plant stanol esters have been added to some margarines and spreads because of their cholesterol lowering effect. Several studies have indicated that consumption of about 2 grams per day provides a reduction in LDL cholesterol of about 10%.
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