how to avoid saturated fats? The best possibility is to replace them. With what? That’s what researchers from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) asked themselves. So they developed an oleogel created from vegetable substances. And it would be the new substitute for saturated fats.
The secret is in the shell
It would decrease coronary problems and diseases from saturated fats. It has properties similar to solid fats. Oleogel would replace trans fats mainly in breads, emulsions and other foods.
It has a “high level of unsaturated lipids, which are beneficial to health. This means a reduction of coronary problems. And other diseases caused by excessive intake of saturated fats,” said Rosiane da Cunha. She is one of the researchers of the study.
The technology created at Unicamp uses edible waxes from red fruit shells or sunflower seeds. It includes a secondary emulsifier. Saturated fatty acid derivatives are also involved. “The structurants form a three-dimensional network that retains the oil,” the authors explain.
As a result, a kind of gel-like structure is created. Under room temperature or refrigerated conditions, it behaves like a solid fat. And it does not impair the nutritional properties of vegetable oil.
In Brazil trans fats have been restricted. According to the university, they should be banned in line with the global trend. The industry has until 2023 to end the use of trans fats. These have negative health consequences.
For the World Health Organization (WHO) it is recommended that the daily consumption of trans fats should not exceed 1%. Saturated fats – of animal origin – make up 10% of the total calories in a conventional diet.
The new substitute for saturated fats would have health benefits by lowering LDL (harmful cholesterol) in the blood. Consequently, it would help in disease prevention.