If you've ever felt guilty after downing a slice (or two) of cake or sampling one too many cheese cubes at a cocktail party (because really, who hasn't?), we have some news that may excite you. Scientists from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh have just discovered a potential way to make cheese and cake low fat. The researchers have created a protein that mimics the texture and flavor of the fat that makes cakes and cheeses so delicious. The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). This kind of a protein could replace the fat in many processed foods without affecting the taste, which is something that's been done to foods like yogurt and even chocolate, but never in foods like cheese and cakes.
To create this magical protein, scientists studied how proteins deal with heat and other food manufacturing processes. By studying the behavior of the protein under these circumstances, the researchers were able to modify the protein to act as a substitute for fats. This discovery also seems to work for replacing eggs in baked goods. Replacing eggs is also a big deal because the ingredient is subject to rising costs. A reliable substitute should cut down on the cost of production.
Dr. Steve Euston, the leader of the project, believes the proteins could help to combat obesity. Dr. Euston explains, "The result could be important health benefits, as well as a reduction in the burden on the NHS caused by obesity and other weight-related health problems."
Nandi Proteins plans to move the research forward and hopes to use the proteins in their own range of products. Eventually the proteins could be available for food manufacturers. The proteins could begin appearing in low fat products within two years. So if you love your cheese and cake, be on the lookout!
Image Credit: Getty Images