Margarine phase is mixture of animals or vegetables fats

Margarine is a fatty food
resembling butter in term of appearance, characteristics and compositions and
is used as substitute or alternative to replace butter. Margarine is applied to
fatty food similar to butter except that the fat is not or only to a minor
extent is derived from milk fats. Margarine is an emulsion of fatty phase,
usually continuous phase or aqueous phase. The fatty phase is mixture of
animals or vegetables fats and oils and contain sufficient solid fat to ensure
margarine is solid at atmospheric temperature (A. J. C. Andersen, 2010).


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    The three different brands with
preservatives found on food labels are Buttercup Gold brand with presence of
salt, potassium sorbate (E202), citric acid (E330) and Vitamin E; Olive Gold with
Olive Oil brand with presence of salt, potassium sorbate (E202), acidity
regulator (E330) and Daisy brand with presence of salts and antioxidants.

        Potassium Sorbate is used as
preservative in many variety of foods. Potassium Sorbate is effective in
inhibiting moulds, yeasts and also bacteria (Hui, 2006). Potassium Sorbate is
used where high water solubility is desired. It is added mostly in low-fats spread
where by water content increased which favour the growth of microorganisms
(Wiley, 2016). The effectiveness of potassium sorbate depends on their ability
to depress fatty acid metabolism in microorganisms. As pH decreases, its
antimicrobial activity increases, potassium sorbates works best at pH 6.5 or
less against microbes (Hui, 2006).

added in margarine is principally for the taste and has moderate preserving
effect. Salt is added in order to bind with the free water making it no longer
available for microbial growth. Salt has definite retarding effect on some of
the fat-splitting mould and water-carried bacteria. In addition to the salt the
steadily diminishing amount of nutrients in the water droplets contribute to
the gradual appearance of bacterial life. Salt is also used as an addition to
solidified margarine during kneading or blending operations (A. J. C. Andersen,

E is a natural preservative as vitamin E contain tocopherol which is a
antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent oxidations by quenching the free radicals,
help to prevent the damage (Chavez, 2012) or spoilage of the food products. Antioxidants
will restrict the extension of lipid oxidation in margarine dispersion with the
naturally presence of the tocopherol in fat blend. Some lipophilic antioxidants
possess surface activity together with emulsifier to form interface as the
presence of interface can decrease oxygen diffusion (Hrádková and Šmidrkal,
2009). Many ingredients in margarine formulations contain metal ions which can
catalyse oil deterioration in margarine, so antioxidants are added to prevent
the undesirable reactions caused by those metal ions thus prolong the shelf
life of the margarine (Wiley, 2016).

            Citric acid is a weak acid that can be found in citrus
foods. Citric acid is mainly used as acidity regulator to balance the pH in
margarine. Citric acid added principally as a stabilizer. The addition of
citric acid to margarine lower the pH to around 4.5-5.5 as under these specific
pH it is not suitable for the growth of microorganisms (Herschdoerfer, 2012)
thus prevent the spoilage of margarine and increase the shelf life. Addition of
citric acid can increase the activity of antioxidants if antioxidant is added
in margarine, however citric acid is not an antioxidants (, 2017). Citric
acid added can also imparts the fresh taste of the margarine (Herschdoerfer,


           The advantages of potassium sorbate
is that it is effective in inhibiting the growth of yeast and also moulds in
margarine. Potassium sorbate has neutral odour and taste so will not alter the
taste and aroma of margarine, harmless to humans when ingested, economical and
is approved for the use of food products (, 2017). Sorbate can be
metabolized by organisms in a way similar to naturally occurring fatty acids. Potassium
sorbate can be used to replace other preservative like benzoates in a more
acidic foods to prevent off flavours and extend the spectrum of microorganisms
inhibited (SOFOS and BUSTA, 1981). As for the disadvantages, potassium sorbate’s
activity against bacteria is not as comprehensive as it against yeast and also
moulds (SOFOS and BUSTA, 1981).

advantages of adding salt is that it can reduce the water activity by binding
to the free water presence in margarine thus reduce the risk of microbial
growth. Salt can also use to solidify margarine during kneading process. As for
the disadvantages, some of the microorganisms have high-salt tolerance
properties so the concentration of salt added in margarine may not be
sufficient to inhibit them. The use of coarse salt may cause grittiness in the
products or local breaks in emulsions causing formation of darker spots on
margarine (A. J. C. Andersen, 2010).

advantages of antioxidants in margarine is that it improves the oxidative stability
of margarine by preventing oxidation which can cause deterioration in the taste
of margarine and the formation of aldehyde which involves in deterioration of
deodorized oils and fats after storage (A. J. C. Andersen, 2010). With the
presence of antioxidants, some margarine which has beta-carotene can be
protected as without antioxidants protection, they will exert as a pro-oxidant
effect for example in margarine which contain rapeseed oil (Yanishlieva, Gordon and Pokorny?, 2008). For
disadvantages of antioxidants added in the margarine, in some cases, as some of
the other ingredients already contain natural antioxidants in optimal amounts,
the further addition of antioxidants in margarine might cause an unbalancing
effect (A. J. C. Andersen, 2010). Some antioxidants have tendency to form dark
participates with irons ions and heat sensitive (Yanishlieva,
Gordon and Pokorny?, 2008).

advantages of citric acid added in margarine are to prevent oxidation of fat
spoilage of margarine and also prevent discolouration (Kempen-van Dommelen and Catsberg, 1990) on margarine.
As for the disadvantage of citric acid, the addition of acidity regulator added
into the margarine has to depend on the concentration of the solution and also
at which stages this acidity regulator or citric acid should be added in. The
citric acid solution has to be further diluted (A. J. C. Andersen, 2010) before
being added into the margarine in order to prevent any unwanted deterioration
to occur on margarine.

potassium sorbate is safe to be use and harmless to humans, however, excessive
use of potassium sorbate may cause toxic accumulations in margarine which will
be an issue for food safety and caused health hazard mainly allergic reaction
(Salehi et al., 2017).  If amount of
potassium sorbate used in margarine is exceeded, some consumer may suffer
diarrhea which can cause deplete in nutrients in consumer’s bodies or even
nausea as the body will be overwhelmed with the excess of potassium presence in
the body system.  

for the addition of salt as the preservative, altering the salt content needed
or added in the margarine may affect the overall balance of the flavour of the
margarine therefore decreasing the sensory quality of margarine products. If
excessive level or amount of salt is added into the margarine, it may somehow
cause some sensory changes or deterioration to the margarine during
consumption. Excess salt may cause saltiness of the margarine to increase which
may not be accepted by the consumers.

antioxidants, the addition of natural antioxidant like vitamin E not only can
inhibit oxidation but also increase the nutritional value of the margarine as
vitamin E can reduce the development of heart disease. However, addition of
synthetic antioxidants like BHA, BHT or even TBHQ in margarine in spite of
their efficiency in preventing oxidation, but those synthetic antioxidants may
have possible carcinogenic effect (Maryam
and Parvin, 2009) and also cytotoxic which may cause health effect when
consume. In additions, all these synthetic antioxidants may have possible
adverse effects on the kidney and liver as well as lung tissues (, 2017). So amount of
antioxidants added into margarines as preservative have to be handled properly
in order to inhibit oxidations and do not have issue with safety of margarines.

for citric acid, it does not cause any food safety issue, however, if excess
use of citric acid in margarine can cause a decrease in sensory quality of
margarines. As citric acid is acidulant, so if excessive citric acid is added
in the margarine, flavour and taste of margarine may altered.


Most of the preservatives
found in margarines are potassium sorbate, salt, vitamin E and antioxidants and
acidity regulator. Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit the possible growth of
yeast and moulds. Salts in margarine able to bind with free water and reduce
the risk of microbial growth. Acidity regulator like citric acid is used to
balance the pH of the margarine and increase the activity of antioxidants. As
for antioxidants, it is added in the margarine in order to increase their
oxidative stability by inhibit the oxidation which can cause deterioration to
the margarine during storage. Preservative can extend the shelf life of
margarine but appropriate amount should be added in order to reduce undesirable
deterioration on sensory quality, nutritional value and also the safety of the