Scientists have made a modified protein that they claim can mimic the behaviour of fat during the manufacturing of food.
They believe that substituting the fat with this protein could help cut calories in food products and help bring a wider variety of low-fat foods to market without compromising either texture or taste. The research so far has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and will now be taken forward by commercial partner, Nandi Proteins. A Dutch company has already licensed it for ice-cream and yoghurts, and Nandi is working with a UK company that is using it in cakes. Dr Lydia Campbell, Chief technology officer at Nandi Proteins, believes that products will be on shelves within 18 months. We have grave concerns about this kind of technological modification of the diet, especially given the rapidly accumulating evidence about the importance of fats (both unsaturated and saturated) for our long-term health.
Ian: They are kidding, aren’t they?