High quality nutritional gelators for replacing saturated and animal fats in food

Workgroup: Plant-based foods

Research Partner and Scientific Guidance:

  1. Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV Freising, Maike Föste

Financing: IVLV e. V.
Laufzeit: 2022

High consumption of too much fat and especially saturated fatty acids has been associated in medical studies with an increased risk of obesity and lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure. To replace animal fat, saturated vegetable fats such as from coconut or palm oil are often used. However, their environmental balance is critical, since they grow in tropical regions. In particular, slash-and-burn cultivation is often used for their production. For some years now, oleogels have been discussed and studied as a possible substitute for saturated fats. For the oleogel processing, oleogelators are used to structure oils, which consist mainly of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. The application of a variety of oleogels has already been described on a laboratory scale for spreads, praline fillings, baked goods and as a substitute for animal fats in sausages (frankfurters). However, the gelators investigated so far do not have food approval or are not available in sufficient quantities. Against this background, the aim of the current research project is to develop oleogels based on 1) approved, nutritionally valuable gelators and 2) the combined use with ecologically beneficial, regional oils with a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. To this end, suitable gelators comprising both proteins and fibers are first screened. Depending on these gelators, the manufacturing process (direct dispersion) is adapted while evaluating the analytical and physical properties. Subsequently, these new oleogels will be used for the development of meat and milk alternatives and evaluated regarding their sensory profile.