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General Discussion 6

What is in "trans-fat-free shortening"? Can beef tallow be in a small % of it?

opinionatedchef | Mar 28, 201510:42 PM

I recently sampled some local donuts where I immediately detected the mouthfeel of tallow (I really dislike the effect; it is sometimes used pure or blended in some of the old fashioned clam shacks here in MA.)

I was told by a CH that the donut maker in question uses " trans- fat -free shortening." Are there rules for that assignation which allow a certain small % of the blend to be NOT trans fat free?
If not, what else might be going on, iyo? Btw, I am not omniscient, but after this many years, I am very confident that what I detected was beef tallow- a chalky coating of the roof of my mouth. Thx for your help. Just fyi,I found this excellent piece on tallow:

by vagreys » Sat Jul 14, 2012 from www.sausagemaking,org
"Saturated fats that go solid or semi-solid at room temperature, like animal fats, will stick to the roof of your mouth until they warm sufficiently to start melting. It is the nature of saturated fats, like lamb, beef, pork, and chicken fat to go sticky/tacky as they solidify.

Different fats have different melting points. Poultry fats have the lowest melting points (start melting at 75-80°F), and melt quickly in your mouth, so they don't stick to the roof of your mouth unless they are cool. Pork fats are next lowest, melting at around 94°F, so they also melt quickly in your mouth, and again, don't stick to the roof of your mouth unless the are cool. Butter melts at about 98°F. Beef fat start to melt at about body temperature, but doesn't fully melt until it is warmer than body temperature, which is why you can still detect a film on the roof of your mouth when eating a room-temperature or cooler sausage made with beef fat. Lamb fat has the highest melting temperature of these fats, and doesn't melt at body temperature, which is why lamb is generally served hot, or defatted if served cold - unless it is hotter than about 115-120°F, the fat will congeal in your mouth.

The higher the beef fat content of your room-temperature or cooler sausage, the more you will notice the fat sticking to the roof of your mouth. Mouth feel, flavor and texture are important reasons why beef fat is not widely used in sausage making, and why pork fat is preferred.

Smoking will not affect this characteristic of saturated fat. If you were to smoke your sausages, they would taste smoked and the fat would still stick to the roof of your mouth."

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