The outlook on replacing partially hydrogenated oils has brightened. High-oleic soybean oil is beginning to enter the market. Supply of canola oil should keep surging, and palm oil remains a drop-in replacement to partially hydrogenated oils (phos).
Formulation clouds still hover on the horizon, however. High-oleic soybean oil and canola oil work well in frying applications, but because they are liquid oils, they may need to be blended with more solid oils in baked foods. High-oleic soybean oil, being bioengineered, also may not work in non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. products. In regard to palm oil, saturated fat content is still a concern, and sustainability issues, especially deforestation, are being addressed.
Then there’s the June Food and Drug Administration ruling. The F.D.A. in the June 17 Federal Register said it has determined there no longer is a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils (phos), the primary sources of industrially-produced trans fat, are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). Food companies have until June 18, 2018, to remove phos from their products.
Three years from now the supply situation for pho alternatives should be even brighter.