Off Taste In Trans Fat Free Sweet Tex Shortening

Baking By punkyf Updated 24 Jan 2023 , 7:52am by aunt-judy

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punkyf Posted 20 Jan 2023 , 6:00pm
post #1 of 3

I bought Sweet Tex trans fat free shortening and find that my icing doesn’t taste as good as it used to. Is anyone else having that problem?  I need a good crusting cake icing recipe. I don’t want to even bake cakes anymore because of this. Help please!

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-K8memphis Posted 20 Jan 2023 , 8:56pm
post #2 of 3

it's rough when ingredients change -- it shouldn't taste yucky though -- i don't use it -- i'm retired now from caking -- maybe someone will know and help soon -- 
fingers crossed for you! and don't give up ~

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aunt-judy Posted 24 Jan 2023 , 7:52am
post #3 of 3

I have some thoughts about your Sweetex conundrum:

I've never used Sweetex shortening, but I know it existed twenty+ years ago back in my baking days, and their shortenings--like all shortenings then--used to be formulated with partially-hydrogenated oils. I just had a look at their current product line, and there are three Sweetex trans-fat-free shortenings: Two that are soy-based (SWEETEX GOLDEN FLEX ICING; and SWEETEX GOLDEN FLEX CAKE & ICING) and one that's palm-based (SWEETEX FLEX CAKE & ICING).

Is it possible that you simply accidentally purchased a different type of Sweetex than you have in the past couple of years? Another possibility is if you haven't used Sweetex for a few years and now the formula for the product that you used to buy has actually changed, and it tastes different now. Hi-ratio shortenings of the past were made with hydrogenated fats, which were responsible for artificially-created trans-fats. Over the past several years, and with trans-fat bans finally coming into effect in North America in the past few years (2018 in the U.S.), shortening manufacturers have had to change their product formulations. A very common change has been the use of palm oil, which is naturally-saturated so that it's solid at room temperature and has a fairly long shelf-life. But palm oil in products can result in flavours that taste wrong or 'off'. (I'm very sensitive to it and anything with palm oil always smells and tastes rancid and terrible to me). Sweetex GOLDEN soy shortenings are now made through a process called "interesterification" that alters the triglycerides in the soy oil. It's entirely possible that this process produces flavours that are different from prior formulations that were made using hydrogenated oils.

Here's a nifty and very short article from 2016 about the challenge of producing shortenings without partially-hydrogenated oils:

I hope something in all that helped, or at least was informative. If you figure out why your Sweetex isn't tasting the same as it used to, please let me know. I'm curious!

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