Using new emulsifiers or combining high structurizing fats with low saturated fat oils can help overcome the technical challenges involved in saturated fat reduction, said Barry Callebaut as it launches an extended healthier product line.
The Swiss headquartered group said following increased consumer demand for products that are lower in saturated fats (SAFA) and in anticipation of new EU measures, the company has reformulated its filling and coating applications along those lines, without “compromising on technical functionality or taste.”
Zurich based Callebaut reveals that its confectionery fillings have SAFA reductions of up to 60 per cent, while 80 per cent of its bakery fillings are low in those particular fats.
In addition, the supplier commented that it can achieve up to 35 per cent reduction of SAFA in its biscuit and confectionery coatings and 50 per cent in terms of ice cream coatings without affecting quality parameters such as taste and texture or impacting cooling time.
Reformulation of products along healthier lines is billed as part of the struggle against obesity, along with increased physical activity and education efforts.
The European food information legislation, now in second reading, will most likely include a Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA)-like scheme for giving percentages of daily maximum saturated fat per portion on a label.
But reducing sugar or fat in products presents challenges to manufacturers, as these nutrients perform functional roles in products beyond just making them taste good. For instance, they can play a role in texture and preservation.
Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer at Barry Callebaut, said that reducing SAFA - without (re)-introducing trans-fatty-acids – can result in a loss of a certain hardness and consistency of the end-product and it also has a high impact on crystallization behaviour.
However, he told this publication that the supplier was able to overcome these technical challenges through approaches that involve the combination of a low dosage of high structurizing fats with a high percentage of low SAFA oils, or fat reduction through the use of new processing techniques or new emulsifiers.
Vriens said that, in some cases, the incorporation of specialty fats and interesterification techniques can also address the potential functional loss arising from fat reduction efforts.
And he added that part of the fats can be replaced by the other ingredients used in compounds and fillings such as cocoa powder, milk powder and fibres.
Lower hydrogenated fat
Callebaut said that it has also been taking major steps to dramatically reduce the use of hardened (hydrogenated) fats in its confectionery fillings and coatings while still maintaining high standards of taste and quality.
“To put this reduction in perspective, the hydrogenated fat content of Barry Callebaut products has been reduced from 47 per cent to 20 per cent in just eight years.
Barry Callebaut has also drastically reduced the trans-fatty-acid content of all vegetable oils in use since 2002 (from 6.1 per cent to 1.3 per cent),” said the ingredients supplier.
As a result, it continued, practically all trans-fatty-acids have been eliminated from the vast majority of its products.