Fat replacers are substances used to replace the fat content in food products, to lower calorie and fat intake, or to improve the texture, stability and sensory properties of low-fat foods. Fat replacers can be classified into several types, such as hydrocolloids, protein-based, carbohydrate-based, and others. Some common examples include cellulose, starches, gums, and soy proteins. The use of fat replacers is becoming increasingly popular in the food industry to develop low-fat and healthy food options.
Modified starches are often used as fat replacers in the food industry. Modified starches, due to their ability to mimic the textural and functional properties of fat, are a popular choice for use as fat replacers. They are used in a variety of applications including dairy products, baked goods, and snacks. Modified starches can improve the texture and mouthfeel of low-fat foods while providing a similar eating experience as full-fat products. In addition, they also provide advantages such as reduced cost, improved shelf life, and improved nutritional profiles.
Modified starches that are commonly used as fat replacers include:
- Hydrocolloids, such as xanthan gum and carrageenan, which have gelling properties and can create a similar texture to fat.
- Resistant starches, which have a high molecular weight and can form gel structures that replace the texture of fat.
- Starches modified with hydrophobic groups, which can reduce the surface energy of the starch granules and increase their fat-like properties.
- Cross-linked starches, which have increased stability and can form gels that mimic the texture of fat.
- Starch-based products, such as maltodextrin, which have a low molecular weight and can be used to thicken and stabilize low-fat products.