Standard Article

Shortenings: Types and Formulations

  1. Richard D. O’Brien

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047167849X.bio038

Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products

Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products

How to Cite

O’Brien, R. D. 2005. Shortenings: Types and Formulations. Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products. 4:4.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Shortening was once the reference to naturally occurring fats that are solid at room temperature and were used to “shorten” or tenderize baked foods. The material makeup of shortening has changed from a natural fat to blends of oils with hard fats to hydrogenated liquid oils to blend with additives such as emulsifiers, antioxidants, antifoamers, metal scavengers, and antispattering agents. Shortenings are still intended to tenderize baked goods and to provide other functional attributes. Today’s shortenings are essential ingredients in every type of prepared food product. Shortenings affect the structure, stability, flavor, storage quality, eating characteristics, and eye appeal of the foods prepared.

Specific topics discussed in this chapter are source oils, shortening attributes, a base stock system that uses a limited number of hydrogenated stocks for blending, formulations, crystallization, plasticized shortening consistency, liquid opaque shortenings, and shortening chips and flakes.


  • shortenings;
  • source oils;
  • flavor;
  • characteristics;
  • chemical adjuncts;
  • emulsifiers;
  • base stock;
  • formulations;
  • liquid shortening;
  • flakes;
  • chips;
  • crystallization;
  • consistency;
  • liquid opaque shortenings