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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Ground Chia Seed as an Oil Replacement in a Commercial Cake Mix

by Megan Hilleary, Kayla Shelton, & Alison Weppler

Megan Hilleary, Kayla Shelton, & Alison Weppler

The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of ground chia seed as a partial and total fat replacement in a baked commercial cake mix.  Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death, largely due to the contributing risk factor of high saturated fat intake in the American diet.  Chia seeds contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium all in which aid in decreasing CHD risk factors.  Three variations of chocolate cake mini-muffins were used for testing: a control using the commercial recipe with 99 g vegetable oil, a partial modification using 44 g ground chia seed and 49.5 g vegetable oil at a 2:1 volume ratio, and a 100% oil replacement with 88 g ground chia seed.  The USDA database revealed several positive nutrient claims; the partial replacement is a reduced fat and reduced saturated fat product, and the 100% replacement is a reduced calorie, reduced fat, reduced saturated fat, good source of fiber and good source of calcium product compared to the original recipe. 

27 - 29 untrained judges recruited from the Central Washington University campus participated in sensory evaluation tests.  Four objective tests were administered to measure penetration force, compression force, height, and percent moisture content of all samples.  Sensory evaluation showed significant differences in preference, sweetness, and tenderness.  The control was rated the most preferred and sweetest, but the least tender.  Preference was the only significant difference found between the two replacements in sensory evaluation.  Objective tests found significant differences in penetration force, compression force, height, and percent moisture content. The 100% replacement product had the highest measurements in all four tests while the control had the lowest.  This study showed that ground chia seed is an acceptable fat replacement in a baked good with improved health benefits.

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