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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Plum Puree is an Acceptable Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Oat Bran Muffins

by Darienne Sales,  Karla Cochran, Anne Barron, Nicholas Collinsworth

Darienne Sales,  Karla Cochran, Anne Barron, Nicholas Collinsworth

Obesity is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and it is important to address this problem through preventable measures such as lowering fat intake and increasing fiber in our diet.  For this reason we wanted to test the outcome of substituting plum puree for vegetable oil in oat bran muffins. 

The experiment consisted of a control muffin and two variations: the first variation receiving half the amount of vegetable oil and plum puree while the second variation received only plum puree.  The control and two variations of reduced fat and low fat muffins were tested in objective and sensory evaluations for tenderness, moisture, texture and acceptability.  In the objective tests, the TA.XT2 texture analyzer was used for the penetration and compression force test.  In the sensory evaluations, thirty judges were randomly selected at Central Washington University to sample muffins in two versions of the triangle tests, the tenderness and moisture intensity test, and the preference test. 

In the sensory evaluations the only test that was significantly different was the moisture intensity test, which showed that the reduced fat and low fat muffins were significantly different from the control.  In the objective tests both the penetration and compression force showed significant difference between all three muffins in tenderness and texture.  Although the two variations were significantly different than the control, the judges still approved of their quality; therefore Plum puree is an acceptable substitute for vegetable oil.

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