Oil-free emulsions for low-fat foods

Emulsions of water-soluble ingredients could provide the mouth-feel of fat using low-caloric substitutes

Emulsified oil, in products  such as mayonnaise, sauces and margarine, owe their specific mouth feel to destabilization of the oil globules on the oral surface, resulting in a film of oil that covers the tongue. Human perception is set to appreciate this experience of fattiness. Emulsions of water-soluble ingredients offer the possibility to simulate the experience of fat with low-caloric substitutes. Water-water emulsions have certain characteristics that make them suitable for use as substitutes for oil-water emulsions.

NIZO innovation: oil-free emulsion

Emulsions consisting of water-soluble ingredients instead of oil and water: it has become possible based on technology further developed by NIZO. It paves the way to low-fat or fat-free products with a creamy mouth feel. NIZO has applied protein-polysaccharide combinations that create the same texture as oil-containing emulsions. Finding the right food-grade emulsifiers will enable their application in foods. By applying such emulsions, products may be created that contain less fat, but nevertheless generate a creamy mouth feel.

Essential in the case of the new emulsions is the use of the right emulsifiers. During consumption, an emulsion must destabilize to form a film of oil or fat covering part of the surface of the tongue. This creates the experience of creaminess that consumers tend to appreciate. So emulsifiers serve not only as stabilizers, but also as means for manipulating stability.

Low-fat food emulsions

Several food-grade water-water emulsions have meanwhile been realized: an emulsion consisting of gelatin and a polysaccharide whose gelatin-rich emulsion droplets have been gelled to make them stable could be used to replace a portion or all of the fat or oil globules in emulsions such as mayonnaise, cream or dressings.