Could Giordano's be using a vegetable margarine like Ventura's Foods Solid Margarine, or something similar? http://www.dutchvalleyfoods.com/products/baking/oils-and-shortenings/shortenings/248049/ventura-foods-solid-margarine-30-1lb
If Giordano's is not using something like margarine in their dough why would BTB report that he observed yellow specks in the skins formed in the Florida Giordano's location.
The Ventura margarine product you found is quite close to the margarine product that is used to make the Giordano's heart shaped pizza and, most likely, the other pizzas that Giordano's sells. There are a few differences between the two products in that the margarine product used by Giordano's is a Koshered product and uses Kosher salt, and also includes calcium disodium EDTA, which is a common ingredient used in margarine products as a flavor protector, but otherwise the Ventura and Giordano's products are very similar. It would be highly unlikely that you would be able to detect the differences when used in a dough.
Also, for your information, the Ventura margarine is a true margarine since it includes 11 grams of fat (soybean oil) for a 14-gram serving. That comes to 78.6% soybean oil, but because of rounding I am sure that the actual amount of soybean oil is 80% or higher, as required under law to have the product sold as margarine, not a margarine-like product. I should also note that the Ventura margarine has Trans Fat. At this point, we do not know whether the same is true for the Giordano's margarine product. We would have a better feel for the answer to that question if we knew how and where Giordano's uses its margarine product. That is, is that product used only to grease the pans or is it also used in the dough, along with soybean oil?
As for the Kosher certification, I found a source of Koshered margarine or margarine-like products at http://www.midatlanticveg.com/publish/product.shtml
. There are no spec sheets at the website itself but, as noted at the website, all of their Koshered products are produced under Kosher supervision.
As for the yellow spots in the Giordano's dough that BTB mentioned, it is unlikely that the soybean oil would be the source of such spots. At least I have never seen such spotting when I have used soybean oil in pizza dough and have tried to fully and uniformly mix it into the dough. However, as I once mentioned before, I did see yellow spots when a dough with a lot of oil in it was dusted in flour and where the flour was absorbed in parts of the outer surface of the dough ball and the skin formed from the dough ball. As for other possibilities, if margarine is used in the Giordano's dough, I suppose that the beta carotene color agent in the margarine could also lead to yellow spotting, especially if the margarine is blended into the dough so that it retains its form and character (maybe in shards) and does not melt into the dough.
If soybean oil is used in the dough without margarine, there may be ways of blending it into the dough so that it remains discrete, possibly by gradually adding the oil to the dough and kneading the dough only briefly. Using cold ingredients might also facilitate this exercise. I mention this because I found through past experimentation that it is harder to combine ingredients and to get good hydration of the flour when the flour and water are cold (in my tests the water was ice cold and the flour had been stored in the freezer). Doing the same thing with soybean oil may keep it from melting into the dough. At this point, all we can do is speculate. Hopefully, at some point we will get a better idea as to what actually goes into the Giordano's dough. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine from the Total Fat and Sat Fat numbers we have seen to date where the fats are used and in what amounts. That is because there are Total Fats and Sat Fats in the mozzarella cheese blend, the soybean oil and in the margarine. There is no way that I know to isolate those fats among the three components.
It also does not help that we don't have Nutrition Facts for those ingredients other than for the soybean oil because it is a generic-like product. For example, assuming that Giordano's is using Stella foodservice mozzarella cheeses, which is a good possibility since Saputo, the owner of the Stella brand, was a named creditor in the Giordano's bankruptcy proceedings, I was unable to find the Nutrition Facts for those cheeses in block form.