COPENHAGEN, Dec 28 — Ice cream is popular the world over — but the saturated fat it contains raises our cholesterol, risking heart disease and strokes.
Making the tasty treat with unsaturated fat is the Holy Grail for ice cream makers.
This University of Copenhagen researcher is developing methods to do just that.
“Saturated vegetable fat is solid, as you can see.... So what I’m trying to do is to make ice creamwith liquid oil. But it’s important that to create a structure in the ice cream, to stabilise the icecream, it is important that the lipid is solid and therefore we are structuring the liquid oil into solid fat by adding some structuring molecules,” Merete Bøgelund Munk, lead researcher at the University of Copenhagen said.
She’s testing ways to make unsaturated fat oil droplets form networks without the presence of fat crystals — a crucial part of conventional ice cream structure.
There are also environmental benefits to using unsaturated fat.
Coconut and palm oil has to be shipped from the tropics.
Palm oil is also environmentally harmful to produce.
“If you could select an oil that, for instance was growing locally — let’s say here in the north there’s a lot of rapeseed oil being produced — so it would both mean for the manufacturer that that there will be much bigger selection of oils but also that you can choose whatever oil that is growing near you,” Munk said.
The research is being carried out in conjunction with Scandinavian fat supply giants AAK.
They’ll test the new techniques at production scale in January, adding flavour to the mix.
AAK may seek to commercialise the technology — once researchers have got the technique licked. — Reuters