There has been increasing demand for low-fat products that do not compromise on quality or taste in recent years, as health conscious consumers seek healthy yet indulgent treats. Gelita said that it is showcasing its new Optice gelatine-based ingredient at FI Europe in Frankfurt next month.
Company spokesperson Oliver Wolf told FoodNavigator.com: “Low fat ice cream on the market is not very well-accepted. The taste and mouthfeel suffer from taking out the fat…The texture of ice cream made with Optice is much more like the full fat ice cream.”
He explained that this is because it is an animal protein that binds with water in the product and swells, so ice crystals do not form and fracture as they do with many other ingredients that are available for low fat ice cream formulations.
The company claims that Optice can be used to make entirely fat-free ice cream, with 40 per cent fewer calories, and it says an expert sensory panel found that ice cream made with the ingredient had “perfect melting properties, excellent smoothness and a quite convincing mouthfeel”.
Other recently introduced ingredients on the market that claim to improve the texture of low fat ice cream include a GM yeast product from Unilever and low temperature extrusion technology from Danisco, while a Turkish study published in the Journal of Food Science last year showed that the prebiotic inulin also held promise for better mouthfeel.
According to market research organisation Mintel, there have been 319 new low fat ice cream products launched in Europe over the past five years, with the UK leading the way with 65, followed by 61 from Germany.