Sunday, October 04, 2009

Modern History of Margarine

Modern History of Margarine
The history of margarine is a prime example of applied technology meeting changing needs and desires of the consumer. Margarine was invented as a cheap substitute for butter so that the poorer elements of society could have some spread on their bread.

Margarine was developed after Napoleon 111 offered prize for a process that would produce a butter substitute. At that time the butter was in short supply in France.

Mege-Mouries was awarded the prize in 1870 for his product oleo-margarine; within a few months, it was known as margarine.

Mege-Mouries first prepared his margarine by the emulsification of beef oleo with milk. Mege-Mouries patented margarine on 1869 he response to a prize offered at the Paris World Exhibition of 1866 for the development of a substitute for butter.

Later other animal and vegetable fats were found to be satisfactory for the preparation of this product.

In the United States, margarine was first made largely from oleo oil, but by 1933 more than 60% of the margarine was made from coconut oil.

Before that in the United States, margarine production began in 1875 but was immediately confronted with a hostility which, understandably, had its origin in dairy interest.

Although no from evidence seems to have been presented that margarine was harmful, it was initially prohibited in Missouri in 1881.

From 1934 on, coconut oil was replaced in increasing proportions by hydrogenated domestic oil (principally cotton seed and soya oils); at the present time practically no coconut oil is used in margarine production in the United States.

In 1975, the world production of margarine was about 5.7 million tones in relation to a total oil and fat production of 40 million tones.

This total margarine volume was reached after a 10-fold increase between 1875 and 1925 and two 2-fold increase during the periods 1925 to 1950 and 1950 to 1960.

In 1973, world consumption was about 25% higher than that of butter whereas the consumption of both products was almost equal in the European Community (EC) countries.

This fast growth was made possible by a number of technical developments and innovations in the field of raw material utilization and processing and also by product diversification.

Some margarine manufacturer use all- hydrogenated vegetable oils to produce their product, while others use blends of all hydrogenated vegetables oils; these latter products have a greater temperature range of plasticity.

Margarine is made thoroughly mixing, or churning, melted fat with cultured skim milk. After cooling to solidify the margarine it is kneaded and blended into a homogenous mass.

Salt are added, and the product is then packaged. Optional ingredients include emulsifying agents, vitamins A and D, sodium benzoate, and color.

Practically all margarine produced in the United States now contains vitamins A to the extent of 9,000 to 15,000 USP units.

Margarine is subject to regulation. It must not contain more than 16% moisture, nor more that 10% butter fat.

It may not contain preservatives but may contain cooling matter, emulsifiers and antioxidants that are permitted by the regulation.

All table margarine must contain 760 – 940 IU/oz of vitamin A and 80 – 100 IU/oz of vitamin D.
Modern History of Margarine