When first invented margarine was a butter substitute made from oils other than milk fat. There are now many different margarines developed for special purposes. Normally margarines will contain about 16% water, like butter. They are emulsified and plasticised, so that their consistencies resemble butter. The consistency can be modified by using fats with specific melting temperatures, a feature that is not possible with butter.

Because they are emulsified and plasticised margarines are supplied and handled like butter. Temperature control of the storage, especially before use, is of key importance.

Not all boxed fat is margarine. In fact it is not usual to use margarine, which contains water, in biscuit manufacturing. It can be used but an adjustment to the dough water added should be made to take allowance of the water contained in the margarine.