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Crystallization of Fats and Oils

  1. Serpil Metin1,
  2. Richard W. Hartel2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047167849X.bio021

Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products

Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products

How to Cite

Metin, S. and Hartel, R. W. 2005. Crystallization of Fats and Oils. Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products. 1:2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Cargill Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota

  2. 2

    University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Control of crystallization of lipids is important in many food products, including margarine, chocolate, butter, and shortening. In these products, the aim is to produce the appropriate number and size distribution of crystals in the correct polymorphic form because the crystalline phase plays a large role in such food properties as appearance, texture, spreadability, and flavor release. Thus, understanding the processes that control crystallization is critical to controlling quality in these products. Controlling crystallization requires an understanding of the driving force that leads to crystallization, the process of forming the crystalline phase (nucleation), and then subsequent crystal growth and polymorphic transformation to obtain the final crystalline phase volume in equilibrium with the remaining liquid fat. Because of the complex composition of most natural fats, our understanding of these processes remains somewhat uncertain.


  • fats;
  • lipids;
  • crystallization;
  • nucleation;
  • polymorphism;
  • crystal growth