Fats are responsible for performing varied and important functions in the body, such as providing calories, essential fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins. They are considered very important among the ingredients and the sensory aspects of the functional properties of the food. They influence the melting point, consistency, and formation of crystals in the spreadability of many foods and are also responsible for flavor, aroma, creamy appearance, aeration, stability, and feeling of fullness after meals. However, the consumption of high amounts of fats and oils has often been associated with obesity and multiple chronic diseases. To reduce fat and caloric value of foods, we can reduce or eliminate fat from the formulation by increasing the amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, and water. However, it is not so easy to treat with fat substitution in a food formulation. The crystallization behavior of lipids has important implications, especially in industrial processing of products whose physical characteristics (consistency and melting point) are affected by the crystal structure of fat, such as chocolate, margarine, and shortenings. Much of the knowledge about the crystal structure of the fat comes from studies performed on diffraction of x-rays. The crystal structure depends on the specific type of triacylglycerol (TAG) present, the composition and distribution of fatty acids, the purity of TAG, and the crystallization conditions (temperature, cooling rate, shear, and solvent). The ideal fat replacers should be a composite of recognized safety and health, which has all the functional and organoleptic properties with the benefit of significant calorie reduction. Fat food processors have been careful about developing and producing low-fat foods due to the problems it could generate in the production, such as an increased risk of unstable products and unconfident production parameters. Some fat foods can be considered as margarines, creams, chocolate products, ice creams, cakes, and some baked goods. The substitution of trans and saturated fatty acids should be considered also when creating a low-fat food. Saturated and trans fats refer to a group of fatty acids, each with its own properties and characteristics. Despite saturated fats’ potential health benefits, saturated fat has long been associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer, as well trans fats. When designing a low-fat food as spread, for example, it is important to observe the fat composition, the quantity of liquid oil, because the oil phase needs to cover a higher amount of water droplets and the solid fats cause disappearance of smoothness. A combination of the right process parameters and fat composition can give a satisfactory fat food product. In this chapter, the possibilities of low-fat food creation are discussed.
Part of the book: Food Production and Industry
Combining two or more granular or powder ingredients requires a suitable mixing process, which can be either free or random flow with no attraction forces between the particles or interactive or orderly with the presence of large active particles that attract others forming stable clumps. Food systems have very complex properties that make it difficult to standardize the mixing process. In order to achieve an efficient mixture, diffusive and convective mechanisms must be combined, and its success is achieved with a predominance of homogenization over segregation. Powder products are typically used in industry as dispersion in a liquid and should have some properties such as good wettability, water incorporation, flowability, and instantization. To work with powder products, it is necessary to make determinations such as density, particle size, texture, and compaction force, among others. All these physical properties affect and determine the behavior of powdered products during storage, handling, and processing.
Part of the book: Food Processing
The consumption of vegetable milk has grown in recent years. Medical reasons are some reasons for the increase in the number of consumers of this type of drink. Lactose intolerance and allergy to cow’s milk protein are the major factors that lead to this consumption in addition to the option for a healthier lifestyle, there are also consumers concerned with animal health and welfare who are adept at restrictive diets like vegetarianism and veganism. Vegetable extracts are water-soluble extracts from legumes, oilseeds, cereals, or pseudocereals that resemble bovine milk in appearance, are considered substitutes for cow’s milk due to the similar chemical composition and can also be used as substitutes for direct use or in some animal milk-based preparations. In contrast, these substitutes have different sensory characteristics, stability, and nutritional composition of cow’s milk. Plant extracts have health-beneficial compounds, phenolic compounds, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidant activity and bioactive compounds such as phytosterols and isoflavones making plant-based milk substitutes an interesting choice.
Part of the book: Milk Substitutes