The European industry association Euro Fed Lipid, which represents the oils & fats industry in Europe, has awarded Novozymes the prestigious European Lipid Technology Award 2008. The award recognizes Novozymes’ enzymatic interesterification process.

According to Hans Christian Holm, Novozymes’ Global Marketing Manager for Oils & Fats, the advantage of the enzymatic process over the traditional method is that the enzymatic process does not form trans fatty acids, which are suspected of increasing the risks for cardiovascular diseases.

Trans fatty acids are typically found in products such as margarine, cookies, and potato chips, forming during a production process that aims to achieve the correct melting temperature for the end product; for example, so that chocolate cookies melt in the hand and not in the mouth.

Traditionally, baking fats and margarines have either contained hardened fats with trans fatty acids, or had them removed through a chemical interesterification process, that gives poorer-quality oil while also being problematic in terms of both safety and the environment. Using enzymatic interesterification in the production of oils and fats removes the trans fatty acids, reduces the negative environmental impacts, and gives a more natural, better tasting product that contains healthier oils.

Growing market
Hans Christian Holm says it has taken a few years to convince oil producers to use the new technology because it requires changes to the production process. The final argument, however, has been the increasing focus in recent years on trans fatty acids and their damaging effects on health.

European Lipid Technology Award 2008
The award is given each year by Euro Fed Lipid, the European association of the oils & fats industry, and is recognized as the most prestigious award in this area in Europe.