How Can I Remove TBHQ From My Packaged Foods and Maintain Product Freshness?

Consumers today want simple, clean ingredient panels. Seven in 10 prefer no artificial ingredients in their favorite foods, and many are becoming more conscientious of the food they put in their bodies. As a result, many food manufacturers I work with are seeking to remove artificial additives such as tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) from their food items.

Fats and oils add desirable characteristics such as moistness in baked goods, flakiness in pie crusts, and crunchy textures in snacks. While commonly used oils — like conventional soybean or canola oil — provide these desirable qualities, they present a challenge to those companies looking to “clean up” their ingredient declarations. Conventional oils have a very limited shelf life, which can quickly turn your favorite bakery or snack item into an unwanted, wasted product. Thus, food manufacturers face the challenge of keeping food tasting fresh throughout its shelf life. This is where additives and preservatives are often used. For oils, TBHQ is very effective at maintaining freshness but doesn’t mesh with today’s food trends. Manufacturers are now looking for alternatives to provide the qualities needed from oils and fats, but without the TBHQ.

Omega-9 Canola Oil is naturally stable and can be used to substitute conventional oils which have been protected with synthetic antioxidants like TBHQ. Omega-9 Canola Oil is naturally rich in oleic acid, which is 100 to 150 times more resistant to oxidation than linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. Conventional soybean and canola oils are richer in linoleic and linolenic fatty acids and are prone to developing off flavors in a relatively short period of time. TBHQ slows this process down, which is why it is added to less stable oils.

Omega-9 Canola Oil can be used as a frying or spray oil in snack food production and in shortening blends for baked goods, providing all the needed qualities and comparative shelf life without needing TBHQ. If additional stability is required, natural antioxidants, such as extracts from rosemary and green tea, and tocopherols can provide additional protection.

The ever-changing landscape of food requires the industry to adapt and be flexible with its different offerings by using better alternatives and ingredients for consumers.

Source: IFIC 2018 Food and Health Survey