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Margarine is similar in taste and appearance to butter but possesses several distinct differences. Margarine was developed as a substitute for butter. By the 19th century, butter had become a common staple in the diet of people who lived off the land, but was expensive for those who did not. Louis Napoleon III, a socialist-minded emperor of mid-century France, offered a reward to any-one who could produce an acceptable,
The continuous-How process is the most commonly used method in the manufacture of morgarine. If milk is used as the liquid base, it is joined with salt and an emulsifying agent in a chamber. An emulsifier works by decreasing the surface tension between the oil globules and the liquid mixture, thereby helping them form chemical bonds more easily. The result is a substance that is neither wholly liquid nor wholly solid.
affordable alternative. Hippolyte Mege-Mouriez won the 1869 competition for the item he named margarine after its primary ingredient, margaric acid. The margaric acid had only recently been discovered in 1813 by Michael Eugene Chevreul and derived its name from the Greek term for pearls, margarite, because of the milky drops that Chevreul noticed in his invention. In modern times it is manufactured from an oil or combination of oils through the process of hydro-genation, a method perfected around 1910. This process helps animal or vegetable oils emulsify, or turn from a liquid substance into a fatty one of a semi-solid state.
In the U.S., butter was the preferred taste for many years, and until relatively recent times, margarine suffered from a poor brand image. A well-organized dairy cartel campaigned against margarine, fearing competition from the margarine industry. At about 1950, Congress repealed taxes on butter substitutes which had been in effect for several decades. The so-called "Margarine Act" was also heralded for at last defining margarine: "all substances, mixtures and compounds which have a consistency similar to that of butter and which contain any edible fats and oils other than milk fat if made in imitation or semblance of butter." Part of margarine's acceptance into the diets of Europeans and Americans came from rationing during times of war. Butter was scarce, and margarine, or oleo, was the best substitute. Today, margarine
Since the 1930s, the Votator has been the most commonly used apparatus in U.S. margarine manufacturing. In the Votator, the margarine emulsion is cooled and occasionally agitated to form semi-solid margarine.
has become a nearly interchangeable substitute for butter and provides less fat and cholesterol than butter at a lower cost.