The UK company has already been selling its brand of fat replacers for use in bakery products like cakes and muffins, fillings (like butter cream and ganache) and meat products. But it has noticed a market need for less butter in ready meals, in order to make for lower-fat products that can also trim costs for the manufacturer that is faced with high commodity costs.
The new version, called Delyte 7, is derived from tapioca and has green label credentials. Its main aim is to partially replace fat or milk solids in sauces, which form an important part of many ready meals: the ingredients maker says it can bring savings of up to £1000 (c €1790) per tonne of butter.
Adrian Short, a director of Ulrick & Short, told this website that sauces have traditionally used modified starches or gums as fat replacers in the past. “And whilst reducing the fat they don't necessarily reduce calories.”
When reducing the fat content in food products, a typical challenge is retaining acceptable sensory properties.
The new replacer is said to increase process tolerance, since it increases water-binding capacity; overall moistness is also said to be improved, together with the shelf life of savoury products in which it is used.
The shelf-life attribute is significant as, it can mean there is less waste and help bring about an overall reduction in production costs, the company stressed.
Short added that, while the present focus for the firm is on the bakery sector, sauces and ready meals, in the coming year it will be turning its attention to fat-reduction in dairy desserts.