A new fibre-based fat substitute that can reduce the fat content of baked goods by 50 per cent is to be launched in Europe by Swiss marketing group DKSH.
The oat-derived Z-Trim product has been developed specifically for the European market, as a more suitable alternative to its US corn-based equivalent, which raised GM concerns in Europe.
Z-Trim, according to its manufacturers FiberGel Technologies, can replace butter or oil in baked goods, reducing calories and increasing healthy insoluble fiber without altering the food's original taste.
It is also suitable for use in deserts, meat products and dressings.
The GRAS status product comes as a fine powder and can be used as either powder or gel. The gel is created from combining the powder with water.
It is added to dough in the initial mixing stages, and needs high-turbulence mixing machines in order to ensure proper and complete dispersion.
"The type of machine necessary should already be present in bakeries," said Stephan Bleich, sales and marketing manager at DKSH.
If used to its full concentration, Z-Trim may render the final product slightly softer and lighter-coloured than normal.
"Bakeries must conduct trials with the product in order to determine the right concentration levels for each application," he added.
The product, which was launched last month at the New Orleans IFT show, faces its greatest competition from inulin fat replacers, as these have similar properties to fibre-based substitues.
"Inulin is suitable for products with a higher water content, whereas Z-Trim works best with lower water content products, as it competes with other ingredients for moisture," Bleich told BakeryAndSnacks.com.
Oat Z-Trim will be targeted at major food makers, currently under pressure to increase the nutritional value of their products and reduce fat, to respond to the global obesity epidemic.