Can you clarify margarine? (1 Supporting Argument)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you clarify margarine? We will discuss the chemical and physical difference between butter and margarine and why it is possible to separate butter, unlike margarine. We will also elaborate on the types of margarine and their respective uses.

Can you clarify margarine?

You cannot clarify margarine as you do with butter. When you melt butter, you let the milk solids sink to the bottom. You can get rid of the foam off the surface and pour the clear, melted butter. Leave the solid residues that settle to the bottom and you get clarified butter or Ghee.

However, margarine is chemically different from butter, which makes it impossible to make it clear. The reason that you cannot clarify margarine is that clarified butter calls for the removal of milk solids, whereas margarine does not have milk. The milk solids in butter become apparent when you melt it. In contrast, margarine is just water and oil.

While butter is made by churning either cow milk or sheep milk margarine is plant-based. Hence you cannot remove the milk solids as you would with butter. Margarine is an emulsion of water and oil; hence milk solids are completely absent. 

If you heat margarine, you will get two layers of liquid. The clear layer is water while the upper yellow layer is oil. When you heat, you break the emulsion which holds the two layers of immiscible liquids together. It will not be easy to remove the two layers and if you remove either of the layers, the margarine will become useless. Hence, separating layers of margarine is futile, unlike butter.  

Why is the separation of butter different from that of margarine?

Clarifying butter is an easy task, where you need to put your stick of margarine in a saucepan and place the pan over a low flame until all of the margarine melts. Then remove the pan from the stove and place it on the countertop until the butter cools off. It is quite easy to use a spoon or a strainer to skim the foam off the top. Lastly, carefully and steadily, pour the melted butter into another pan and leave the solids behind.

When you clarify butter, you collect the butterfat and remove the milk solids and water. The difference between the layers is not as apparent as it is for margarine due to the presence of butter residues in water. Clarified butter has a high smoke point which makes it easier to cook with.

What is Margarine?

Margarine has a taste and texture profile that is very similar to that of butter. If you are out of butter or on a dietary restriction, then margarine is a good choice for your baking needs. In cakes, doughnuts, or cookies, you can use margarine to provide you with the desirable taste and texture. 

Margarine is high in monosaturated fats. Margarine is made when vegetable oil has hydrogen added to it by a process called hydrogenation. By fortifying Margarin with fatty acids, we get an added nutritional value. The omega 3 and 6 Fatty acids come from canola or soybean oil.

Margarine has a reputation to be a healthy alternative to butter because it has more water and less fat. Fat content in margarine ranges from 30- 80 percent. However, recent studies have proven that consuming trans or partially hydrogenated fats can cause cardiovascular and associated diseases. 

What are the variants of margarine that you can buy?

Margarine is sold in either plastic tubs or as sticks, both of which hold a slightly different version of margarine. Another distinction that margarine holds against butter is that it is found in both varieties; dairy-free or dairy-based. 

Tub Margarine

Margarine sold in tubs is softer and creamier. Tub margarine is usually free of trans fats. When baking, you can use tub margarine instead of melted butter. Contrarily, if your recipe calls for softened butter instead of melted, then you might not attain the best texture possible.

Stick Margarine

Stick Margarine is high in trans-fat, which could raise your cholesterol level. It is also harder and resembles butter in its texture. You can use it for cooking or baking to make pies or pastries, your commodity will turn out just as fine.

If you are making pies or pastries, you need to refrain from using tub margarine to prevent making them too soft. In case your margarine is low-fat, it will be high in water content which could compromise the quality of your food.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you clarify margarine? We discussed the chemical and physical difference between butter and margarine and why it is possible to separate butter, unlike margarine. We also elaborated on the types of margarine and their respective uses.

Citations

https://www.thenakedscientists.com/get-naked/experiments/margarine-planets
https://www.gfs.com/en-us/ideas/butter-versus-margarine-which-is-better
https://www.answers.com/Q/Can_you_clarify_margarine

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.