Interesterification is one of the processes to modify the properties of triglyceride mixtures. In this reaction the fatty acid chains are redistributed over the triglyceride molecules, as a result the melting characteristics of the product have changed compared to the starting mixture.
Interesterification can be done by two ways 1. Chemical & 2. Enzymatic
Chemical Interesterification adjusts the melting profile of a fat blend by interchanging the 3-fatty acids of the triglycerides. There is no formation of Trans fatty acids, but post-treatment is required to remove the by-products and the catalyst. The most often catalyst used is Sodium methoxide (NaOCH3).
(Industrially, sodium methylate is applied for random interesterification)
Enzymes also catalyze the interesterification reaction. Traditionally, enzymes have been used for the production of higher value add products, such as cocoa butter extenders.
Also Interesterification makes ‘trans fat free’ hard stock for margarines, butter blends, spreads, shortenings and ghee blends.
The Process: Drying of Oil —>Reaction with Sodium methoxide —>Cooling —> Wash the Oil (5-10% water) —>Drying and Bleaching —> Deodorization.
(FFA should be taken in consideration max. 0.1% and Moisture <100 ppm)