Lauric acid is a fatty acid that is found in tropical oils like coconut and palm kernel oil. These oils are commonly used in whipping agents, but this presents a significant problem for formulators working with herbs and spices since the lipase enzymes in these cause the lauric acid to split off.
The result of this process, called saponification, is 'soapy' taste that may prove unacceptable to consumers.
To counter this, Cognis carried out "extensive development" on alternative oils for use in its whipping agent that actually delivers better technical results without any possibility of the problematic reaction occurring.
No spokesperson from the company was available prior to publication to give further details on exactly what vegetable oil Cognis is using instead of coconut or palm kernel for its new offering, called Lamequick AS 165.
But the company has said that the ingredient's superior stability when up against enzymatic saponification makes it particularly suitable for aerated snacks like savoury mousses and spicy creams.
It could also be used for light and aerated low-calorie products. For instance, if used to aerate liver sausage it can result in a light and calorie-reduced spread.
In terms of the technical benefits, Friedrick Kielmeyer, global product manager for food ingredients, said "its general performance… is superior to that of fat powder".
The volume of the resulting mousses is said to be higher, stable foams can be produced at lower pH values, and it can be whipped at any liquid temperature between five and 35 degrees celcius.