Though fats and edible oils are largely to blame for obesity and other related health issues, they are integral to a balanced diet and assist in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. This is driving the R&D efforts toward reduced fat and lower calorie foods without altering traditional eating habits.
"Fat-based replacers are gradually gaining momentum in the market since they produce fats that eliminate extra calories while retaining the essential fatty acids, as well as the texture and flavor found in traditionally used fats," explain Technical Insights Research Analyst Anil Naidu.
Olestra recently entered the fat substitutes market after resolving health issues surrounding its consumption and gaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Another breakthrough in the search for low-fat palatable foods is the development of fat-free cream cheese with the firmness, flavor, and texture of regular cream cheese.
Since spreads are major sources of dietary fat and extremely popular among consumers, researchers are taking active steps to reduce their fat content by replacing sweeteners with corn syrup. Corn syrup spreads are low in fat and calories and they do not compromise on the flavor.
Peanut butter is also extremely high in calories since about 50 percent of it is oils while the rest is solid nut particles. Partly replacing nut solids with corn syrup solids creates a more healthy spread that has at least 50 percent less fat and 33 percent less calories than regular peanut butter.