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British Scientists Hope To Design Food Fats That Digest Very Slowly

August 19, 2010: 01:35 PM EST
Scientists in the U.K say they are analyzing the mechanisms of digestion used to break down fats in emulsion-based processed foods such as mayonnaise and yogurt in order to develop fats that digest more slowly. With fat digestion delayed, fatty acids can reach the end of the small intestine to stimulate satiety-inducing hormones, according to researchers from the Institute of Food Research. While testing the use of protein layers to stabilize emulsions and delay fat digestion, they found that a normally-stable whey protein is partially broken down when it is attached to the surface of an emulsion. An added surfactant acts synergistically with the fat, breaking down the protein layer even more effectively. The weakened barrier improves access for enzymes and bile salts that break down fat.
Dr. Peter Wilde, "Delaying fat digestion to curb appetite", News release, Institute of Food Research, August 19, 2010, © IFR
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