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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Acacia Gum as a Fat Substitute Produces an Acceptable Reduced-Fat Brownie

by Anna Norkoski, Liv Engelsen, Theresa Cohoe

Anna Norkoski, Liv Engelsen, Theresa Cohoe

High-fat diets contribute to the obesity epidemic in the United States. Obesity can lead to an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Using fat substitutes to create a product of acceptability while lowering fat content would be beneficial because decreasing the amount of saturated fat in the diet can have incredible health benefits.

To aid in the development of such a product, a blind, random experimental study was carried out to determine the acceptability of acacia gum as a fat substitute in fudge brownies. Both reduced and low-fat brownie samples were made and tested using both objective and subjective measures. Approximately 60 human subjects were used in the sensory testing, which was done on campus on two Wednesday afternoons in Fall quarter 2009. An unaltered recipe for Fudge Brownies was used as a control. Half of the butter was taken out and replaced with acacia gum for the first experimental group to create a "Reduced-Fat" brownie. A "Low-Fat" brownie was created by replacing all of the butter with acacia gum.

Analysis of Variance was performed on all data and Tukey's LSD was calculated if a statistical significance was noted. The results of the study revealed that while the low-fat brownie was significantly less preferred, the reduced fat brownie had textural properties comparable to that of the control and was not significantly different in overall preference. We can conclude that acacia gum is an acceptable fat substitute in fudge brownies when replacing 50% of the fat.

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