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Emulsion of about 80% vegetable, animal, and/or marine fats and 20% water, originally as a substitute for butter. Usually contains emulsifiers, anti-spattering agents, colours, vitamins A and D (sometimes E), and preservatives. Ordinary margarines contain roughly equal parts of saturated, mono-unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids; special soft varieties are rich in polyunsaturates. The energy yield is the same as that of butter.

A 40‐g portion (a medium thickness spread on four slices of bread) is a rich source of vitamins A and D; contains 32 g of fat (the percentage of saturated fat depends on the oils used in manufacture); supplies 290 kcal (1 220 kJ). A single caterer's pat is 10 g; contains 8 g of fat; supplies 72 kcal (300 kJ).

Low-fat spreads are made with 20–60% fat and correspondingly higher contents of air and water and less energy. A 40‐g portion of low-fat spread contains 16 g of fat (of which typically 27% is saturated); supplies 145 kcal (610 kJ). A single caterer's pat is 10 g; contains 4 g of fat; supplies 35 kcal (150 kJ).

Subjects: Medicine and Health — Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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