Sat fat replacement research ramps up

Professor Buttriss: ‘The challenge has been to find substitutes that provide the same functionality in food production’

Reducing saturated fat intake has been high on the policy agenda for decades, but the challenge has been to find substitutes that provide the same functionality in food production.

Historically, ‘hardening’ of oils was used but the trans fats produced are now known to be even more detrimental to health, and have now largely been removed from the UK food supply as a result of adoption of other techniques.

The ‘interesterification’ of fats, which changes the order in which the three constituent fatty acids are attached to each glycerol backbone within the fat, is one such approach.

More like a ‘solid fat’

This is a way of modifying the functional properties of oils to make them behave more like a ‘solid fat’ in terms of melting point, texture and the shelf stability of foods that contain them.

A new project underway at King’s College London is looking at the digestion, metabolism and possible health effects of these fats. Unlike much of the previous work, the project is focusing on commercially relevant palmitic acid-rich interesterified fats.

A paper describing the project and the important questions it is addressing can be found in the June edition of Nutrition Bulletin.

  • Professor Judy Buttriss is director general of the British Nutrition Foundation

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Comments (1)

Gabrie Lansbergen - 22 Jun 2017 | 05:01

effective hard fats

As independent consultant (fatsforfoods) I can supply possible required knowledge about "replacement" of trans fats, with 25 years experience all over the world. The more effective the hard fats like IE fats are the less you need. There is no straight replacement of transfats, although customer, who apply the new hard fats, some times ask for that. But you need a new formulation of the fatblend in order to get the requirements for the application and the final consumer.

22-Jun-2017 at 17:01 GMT

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