Vegetal fibres as fat replacers for bakery products


Inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Inulin is a beneficial prebiotic fibre present in various plants, in particular in chicory roots. FOS are inulin derivates with shorter carbohydrates chain and have healthy properties too. They have good texturizing properties for creams, yogurts and fillings, giving them the mouth feel of “creaminess”. When they are used to substitute fat into bread dough in amounts higher than 5%, smaller loafs are obtained, bread guts are more compact and slightly darker; however, below 5% those modifications are hardly noticeable (11).


β-glucans. These fibres, obtained from barley and oat (12), are able to reduce cholesterol blood levels and for these reason they are often added to functional foods claiming this effect. Therefore, using these fibres as fat replacers can have a double appeal on consumers caring for health and wellbeing.
Sucrose esters of fatty acids. Cakes and biscuits fillings contain an average of 30-40% fat in order to obtain the desired creaminess. It is possible to produce fillings with an higher water content and a significant reduction in fat (6-15%): these fillings are able to maintain creaminess thanks to proper air incorporation during mixing and to the presence of texturizers as carrageenan and sucrose esters of fatty acids (13). Such fillings are ideal for cakes, since they have similar water activity (aw), around 0.7. They can be used also to fill biscuits and wafers, but in such cases aw has to be reduced to around 0.3-0.4, substituting part of the water with glycerol or sorbitol.

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by Rita Lorenzini