Low SAFA fat filling is boost for 'better for you' choc bars, says Fuji Oil

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food standards agency, Nutrition, Fat, Saturated fat, Uk food standards agency

A new range of filling and cream fats have a similar texture compared to traditional hard fats but with very low saturated fatty acids levels to appeal to the confectionery segment keen on improving its health profile, claims Fuji Oils Europe.

The global producer of oils and fats for the chocolate and confectionary industry said its low fat Redusat, which was awarded a Food Ingredients Excellence Awards 2009 at the trade show FiE in Frankfurt this month, retains the same structure as saturated fats.

Peter Claerhout, sales director at Fuji Oil Europe, told ConfectioneryNews.com that its new ingredient is based on pure vegetable fat and can be used in wafer coatings and in cereal and chocolate bars to reduce saturated fatty acids by up to 60 per cent.

He added that the company worked for more than three years on the new type of low SAFA-fats ingredient, and has applied for a patent on it.

Cooling process

Claerhout explained that a processor using the ingredient would require tempering equipment to ensure optimal texture and mouth feel in the finished product.

“Redusat has very good melting properties and heat resistance up to 25° C,” ​he added.

Several of the larger confectionery firms are currently trialling the ingredient in some of their brands, continued Claerhout. He said that the first wave of finished products integrating Fuji’s low fat filling expected to be market ready by mid 2010.

According to Claerhout, Redusat can be provided as a ready-to-use filling or cream or in fat form, depending on a processor’s requirements.

Disease risk

Corinne Vaughan, deputy head of nutrition at the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), said that the scientific evidence is clear - a diet too high in saturated fat is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease: "It''s crucial we both encourage industry to reformulate where possible and offer practical advice to the public so we can all choose a healthier diet."

The average Briton consumes 20 per cent more than the government's recommended amount of saturated fat, leading the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to begin a programme directed at its reduction at the beginning of this year.

Reformulation

The FSA said that it has built partnerships with specific sectors of the industry to help in the reformulation of foods that contribute to the most saturated fat in the diet, such as biscuits, cakes, crisps and confectionery.

The programme follows on from the FSA's successful salt reduction campaign, which was initiated in 2004. However, the body has said that cutting saturated fat content will be harder than it was with salt because of the technical challenges for food manufacturers.

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