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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518

Abstract

VALENZUELA B, Alfonso; YANEZ, Carmen Gloria  and  GOLUSDA V, Constanza. BUTTER OR MARGARINE?: TEN YEARS AFTER. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2010, vol.37, n.4, pp.505-513. ISSN 0717-7518.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-75182010000400012.

Margarines are industrial products obtained mainly from the soft hydrogenation of vegetable and marine oils. Originally developed as substitutes of butter, margarines are presently highly demanded and consumed because today industrial procedures allow the manufacture of products, which resemble butter, being however, less expensive and more stable than milk fat. Ten years ago (1999) we analyzed the composition of the different spread margarines expended in Chile in relation to its fat origin and content, fatty acid composition, trans isomers, cholesterol and vitamin content. Ai this time four types of margarines were expended: manufactured from vegetable fat; from animal fat (hydrogenated fish oil); vegetable fat and VTF (virtually trans free); and vegetable fat dietetic and VTF. To day, the scenario is substantially different. Twenty-eight, different spread margarines are commercialized in Chile, corresponding to a wide variety of products having different amount and composition of fat and additives. Although the classification of each margarine is difficult due the variety of hem, we intended to separate the different products in five categories: "Traditional", those having 80% fat or less with no other additives different than those regulated; "Light": those products that contain less than 80% fat and added of additives different than those regulated; "With milk": added of skimmed milk; "With butter", and ; "With functionality": margarines added of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, or phytosterols. Because the wide variety of margarine expended in Chile, it is difficult to decide which product may be better than butter. However, as a generally rule, those margarine manufactured exclusively from vegetable oils, containing no cholesterol and trans fatty acids, with a high content of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and eventually with less than 80% fat, may be considered a product nutritionally more recommendable than butter.

Keywords : Margarine; butter; trans-free products; functional margarines.

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