When the fat comes out of food, what goes in?

November 2, 2011

When fat, sugar and gluten come out of salad dressings, sauces, cookies, beverages, and other foods with the new genre of package labels shouting what's not there, what goes into "light" or "-free" versions of products to make them taste like the original version? The answers appear in the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

In the article Melody Bombgardner, C&EN Senior Business Editor, explains that processors usually face the problem of reproducing the texture or "mouth feel" of products that have cut back on fat, sugar and gluten. More and more of these products are appearing on supermarket shelves in response to changing preferences of health-conscious consumers. Food companies are in a quandary in selecting replacements, because of a parallel consumer backlash against products with long complicated lists of ingredients with the names of tongue-twisting chemical compounds.

The article describes how a host of ingredients derived from Mother Nature, are assuming increasingly important roles in giving those processed foods a satisfying taste. It includes a "mouth map" used to help formulate "light" foods so that they taste like the full-fat versions. The article also features one sidebar on natural food ingredients used to give processed foods a satisfying texture and another on food ingredients that do double-duty as ingredients in toothpastes, shampoo, skin creams, and even oil and gas drilling.

Explore further: When the label says 'low fat,' calories can pile up, study says

More information: Call In The Food Fixers - cen.acs.org/articles/89/i44/Call-Food-Fixers.html

Related Stories

How safe and effective are herbal dietary supplements?

July 21, 2010

Millions of people are taking herbs and other plant-based dietary supplements to improve their health, but they have precious little information on the actual effectiveness or potential ill effects of these products. That's ...

Recommended for you

How to look for a few good catalysts

July 30, 2015

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface.

Findings illuminate animal evolution in protein function

July 27, 2015

Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond researchers recently teamed up to explore the inner workings of cells and shed light on the 400–600 million years of evolution between humans and early animals ...

Yarn from slaughterhouse waste

July 29, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibers. Now they are working on making the yarn even more water resistant.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Graeme
not rated yet Nov 02, 2011
The answer is hydrocolloids, carrageenana and alginates. The mouth map is really nothing much to do with the mouth, but physical properties of the food.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.