Dive Transient:

  • Epogee Meals has launched a fats replacer the corporate claims can cut back fats energy by as much as 92% with out sacrificing style, texture or look in baked items, confectionery, frozen dairy and desserts. The product has typically acknowledged as protected standing from the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration for these makes use of, the corporate mentioned.
  • The product is constituted of non-GMO rapeseed oil. The oil is cut up into glycerin and fatty acid, a food-grade propoxyl hyperlink is inserted, and the glycerin and fatty acid are relinked to create a product the corporate mentioned “appears, feels, tastes and cooks like fats.”
  • This course of restructures the oil in order that just about none of it’s absorbed by the physique, subsequently enabling important calorie discount. David Rowe, Epogee’s chief expertise officer, ​informed Meals Navigator the product successfully permits producers to have their cake and eat it too by minimizing energy and maximizing style.

Dive Perception:

This fats substitute product might entice a number of curiosity since it may be utilized in all kinds of meals, in line with the GRAS discover filed with the FDA in 2015. Epogee says the product can efficiently cut back caloric consumption as a result of its chemical composition helps resist digestion​. It has additionally been “rigorously examined” in additional than 60 research and for security at as much as 150 grams every day — about twice the quantity consumed in a typical U.S. eating regimen, in line with the corporate.

The product additionally hits on a number of the better-for-you traits that buyers are in search of at the moment, together with gluten-free, allergen-free, non-GMO and vegan. It could additionally curiosity customers wanting to chop energy. About 10 grams of fats normally incorporates 90 energy, whereas the identical quantity of the fats substitute has about 7 energy and 0.Eight fats grams.

However given the historical past of fats replacements, there could also be skepticism that the product can ship as promised. Proctor & Gamble’s Olestra, which acquired GRAS standing in 1996, offers a cautionary story.

When Olestra​ first got here out, it was touted as a replacer for normal fats by avoiding intestinal absorption. It was utilized in some Frito-Lay potato chips and in Pringles Mild potato crisps. However Olestra additionally prevented vitamin absorption and prompted customers gastrointestinal misery. Gross sales plummeted from greater than $400 million in 1998 to $200 million by 2000.

Epogee is actively working to keep away from an identical destiny as Olestra. Rowe informed Meals Navigator that Epogee’s fats substitute product is safer as a result of it has a greater chemistry and does not inhibit absorption of fat-soluble nutritional vitamins or have the “bizarre mouthfeel” of Olestra. 

The ingredient faces some labeling concerns although. As presently constituted, the product must be listed as “esterified propoxylated glycerol,” Rowe mentioned, which isn’t an appetizing description for customers with a rising curiosity in clear label. The corporate is working to vary this to a extra consumer-friendly time period, which might assist in getting extra firms within the product.

Regardless of the remaining challenges, Epogee’s efforts to supply a profitable fats substitute product have been rewarded by a current $8.three million funding from HG Ventures, the company enterprise arm of The Heritage Group. Epogee plans to make use of the cash to broaden present manufacturing and velocity up its technical capabilities.

Producers have been specializing in changing partially hydrogenated oils of their formulations because the FDA revoked GRAS standing for them in 2015. However many have switched to more healthy fat and oils fairly than utilizing branded fats replacements created in a lab. Cargill launched a hybrid canola oil final 12 months with lowered saturated fats, permitting producers to chop the molecule of their merchandise by about 35%. But such efforts, whereas useful to calorie-counting customers, cannot match Epogee’s declare that its product can cut back fats energy by as much as 92%.

Epogee appears assured its fats replacer is a singular product, and Rowe mentioned he is not conscious of another expertise that has higher effectiveness, versatility and security. If these claims are true — and no different rivals emerge to problem the product — Epogee could have a well-liked ingredient for meals makers, retailers and customers.

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