Chia extract can slash cake fat by 25%, finds study

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Chia mucilage - the gelatinous extract from the seeds - can be used to replace vegetable fat in pound cakes
Chia mucilage - the gelatinous extract from the seeds - can be used to replace vegetable fat in pound cakes

Related tags Nutrition Salvia hispanica Maize

Chia mucilage gel can be used to directly replace vegetable fat in pound cakes without impacting texture or color, researchers have found.

The findings, published in Food Science and Technology​, showed chia mucilage – the gelatinous substance extracted from chia seeds – could replace up to 25 grams of vegetable fat in every 100 g of pound cake.

The researchers from Brazil said this was a particularly valuable finding as pressure to reduce fat mounted.

“Overweight indices have increased in the recent years, and thus the occurrence of non-communicable diseases related to them. The recommendation of fat reduction in food may contribute to reduce the risk of these diseases. Attention has focused on bakery products, such as pound cake, which contains up to 17 g fat per 100 g product,”​ they wrote.

Novel fat replacer

The researchers said the fact chia mucilage could replace fat in cakes was particularly novel because of how it could be sourced.

“New processes for obtaining chia mucilage gel can be developed, since it can be a by-product of the process of extraction of oil or bioactive compounds from chia seeds, in the same way that different oilseeds and legumes undergo modern processing techniques for oil extraction and obtention of by-products for human consumption,”​ they wrote.

In addition, using the mucilage to replace vegetable fat required no additives or alterations to the cake formula for texture or structure.

“This is an important advantage for the use of a clean label claim when the product is marketed,” ​the researchers said.

Shelf life too was maintained because of the high levels of fiber in chia mucilage that formed hydrogen bonds with water and kept moisture levels up, they explained.

“Furthermore, interactions between the fiber and starch can delay starch retrogradation and avoid the loss of moisture during storage. This point is very important for baked products, because with no fat to prevent moisture loss they would dry out.”


Source: Food Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2015.03.114
“Use of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) mucilage gel to reduce fat in pound cakes”
Authors: MHF. Felisberto, AL. Wahanik, CR. Gomes-Ruffi, MTPS. Clerici, YK. Change and CJ. Steel

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