Netherlands-based business Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC) has launched a shea-based margarine product, targeted at bakery applications.

BLC said the margarine was clean-label and had “exceptional” sensory performance, enhancing puff, crispiness and colour in products such as croissants and Danish pastries.

It also claimed that the product used no artificial colouring or preservatives and was lower in saturated fatty acids than butter, leading to better mouthfeel and quicker flavour release.

“Bakeries and baking companies are seeking plant-based margarine alternatives with superior functionality and good flavour, while consumers are demanding non-hydrogenated, sustainable alternatives to palm oils and GMO oils, as well as healthier products,” said Renee Boerefijn, director of innovation at BLC.

“Shea’s fat composition enables it to maintain stable solidity at room temperature, making it an ideal candidate for margarine production without the formation of unwanted trans fats. Trans fat is a key problem in margarine that continues to evade most formulators. Our new shea margarine is completely trans-free and an overall better-for-you product.”