Application of Emulsifiers to Reduce Fat and Enhance Nutritional Quality

  • Matt Golding
  • Eddie Pelan

At a time when both malnutrition and obesity are increasingly becoming global issues, it is perhaps unsurprising that health, nutrition and weight management are the current main consumer trends within the food industry. As a consequence of these trends, innovation within this sector is being driven by the need to reduce perceived ‘bad’ ingredients: (saturated/trans) fat, salt and sugar, whilst attempting at the same time to fortify foods with nutritional actives, such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, all in support of a healthier lifestyle. The market for reduced fat/reduced calorie products is highly lucrative. In the UK alone, this market segment was worth GBP 1,875 million in 2004, up from GBP 1,372 million in 2000. In 2005, sales are expected to reach GBP 1,975 million. However it should be stated that in moving towards healthier, more nutritious products, the demanding consumer still expects that the quality of the particular food in question is not compromised in terms of overall sensory performance (appearance, texture, flavour).

The use of emulsifiers as a structuring tool for fat reduction and/or nutritional enhancement is exemplified in many food product systems. Some examples of emulsifier applications for fat reduction, such as fat structuring in homogenised creams and ice creams, are not necessarily new innovations. However, there are also more recent developments, such as the use of emulsifier mesophase technology which have found application in products such as zero fat ice creams and spreads.

This chapter reviews some of these diverse applications, both old and new, aiming to show the versatility of emulsifiers when in food formulations for the purpose of fat reduction and nutritional enhancement. The term emulsifier in this instance refers specifically to (non-protein) molecules derived from fatty acids, such as lecithins, monoglycerides and their derivatives. It aims to examine the contribution of emulsifiers in improving product structural design as a means of reducing or eliminating (saturated) fat from food systems, whilst attempting to maintain the quality of the food product. It also aims to explore the use of emulsifiers as delivery mechanisms for nutritional enhancement of foods.


Partial Coalescence Scrape Surface Heat Exchanger Whipping Cream Nutritional Enhancement Saturated Monoglyceride 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Besner H. and Kessler H.G. (1998). Interfacial interaction during the foaming of nonhomogenized cream. Milchwissenschaft 53 (12): 682–686.Google Scholar
  2. Bockisch M. (1993). Nahrungsfette und Öle. Handbuch der Lebensmitteltechnologie, Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.Google Scholar
  3. Boode K. and Walstra P. (1993). Partial coalescence in oil-in-water emulsions.1. Nature of the aggregation. Colloid Surface A 81: 121–137.Google Scholar
  4. Boode K., Walstra P. and DeGroot-Mostert A.E.A. (1993). Partial coalescence in oil-in-water emulsions.2. Influence of the properties of the fat. Colloid Surface A 81: 139–151.Google Scholar
  5. Brooker B.E. (1993). The Stabilization of air in foods containing fat—a review. Food Structures 12 (1): 115–122.Google Scholar
  6. Bruhn C.M. and Bruhn J.C. (1988). Observations on the whipping characteristics of cream. Journal of Dairy Science 71 (3): 857–862.Google Scholar
  7. Buchheim W. (1991). Microstructure of whippable emulsions. Kieler Milchw Forsch 43 (4): 247–272.Google Scholar
  8. Davidson A. (1999). The Oxford Companion to Food, p. 479, OUP.Google Scholar
  9. Flack E. (1985). Foam Stabilization of dairy whipping cream. Dairy Industries International 50 (6): 35–37.Google Scholar
  10. Goff H.D. (1997). Instability and partial coalescence in whippable dairy emulsions. Journal of Dairy Science 80 (10): 2620–2630.Google Scholar
  11. Hitchon B., Gunter W.D., Gentzis T., Bailey R.T., Joscelyne S.M. and Tragardh G. (1999). Food emulsions using membrane emulsification: conditions for producing small droplets. Journal of Food Engineering 39(1) 59–64(6).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Krog N. and Larsson K. (1992). Crystallisation at interfaces in food emulsions—A general phenomenon. Fett Wissenschaft Technologie-Fat Science Technology 94 (2): 55–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krog N. (1997). Food emulsifiers and their chemical and physical properties in food emulsions, 3rd Ed. (SE Friberg and K Larsson), Marcel Dekker, NY, pp 141–188.Google Scholar
  14. Leser M.E. and Michel M. (1999). Aerated milk protein emulsions—New microstructural aspects. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 4 (3): 239–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mizukoshi M. (1997). Baking mechanism in cake production. Journal of Food Engineering 41: 97–100.Google Scholar
  16. Needs E.C. and Huitson A. (1991). The contribution of milk serum-proteins to the development of whipped cream structure. Food Structures 10 (4): 353–360.Google Scholar
  17. Nestel P., Cehun M., Pomeroy S., Abbey M. and Weldon G. (2001). Cholesterol-lowering effects of plant sterol esters and non-esterified stanols in margarine, butter and low-fat foods. European Journal of Clinical Medicine 55: P1084–P1090.Google Scholar
  18. Nisisako T., Okushima S. and Torii T. (2005). Controlled formulation of monodisperse double emulsions in a multiple-phase microfluidic system. Soft Matter 1: 23–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pelan B.M.C., Watts K.M., Campbell I.J. and Lips A. (1997). The Stability of Aerated Milk Protein Emulsions in the Presence of Small Molecule Surfactants. Journal of Dairy Science 80: 1010, 2631–2638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Segall K.I. and Goff H.D. (1999). Influence of adsorbed milk protein type and surface concentration on the quiescent and shear stability of butteroil emulsions. International Dairy Journal 9 (10): 683–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Stanley D.W., Goff H.D. and Smith A.K. (1996). Texture-structure relationships in foamed dairy emulsions. Food Research International 29 (1): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tual A., Bourles E., Barey P., Houdoux A., Desprairies M. and Courthaudon J.L. (2005). Effect of surfactant sucrose ester on physico-chemical properties of dairy whipped emulsions. Sciences Des Aliments 25 (5–6): 455–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tual A., Bourles E., Barey P., Houdoux A., Desprairies M. and Courthaudon J.L. (2006). Effect of surfactant sucrose ester on physical properties of dairy whipped emulsions in relation to those of O/W interfacial layers. Journal of Colloid Interface Sciences 295 (2): 495–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Upritchard J.E., Zeelenberg M.J., Huizinga H., Verschuren P.M. and Trautwein E.A. (2005). Modern fat technology: what is the potential for heart health? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 64 (3): 379–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. van Aken G.A. (2001). Aeration of emulsions by whipping. Colloids and Surfaces A-physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 190 (3): 333–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vanapalli S.A. and Coupland J.N. (2001). Emulsions under shear—The formation and properties of partially coalesced lipid structures. Food Hydrocolloids 15 (4–6): 507–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wootton J.C., Howard N.B., Martin J.B., McOsker D.E. and Holmes J. (1967). The role of emulsifiers in the incorporation of air into layer cake batter systems. Journal Cereal Chemistry 44: 333–345.Google Scholar
  28. Zhang Z. and Goff H.D. (2005). On fat destabilization and composition of the air interface in ice cream containing saturated and unsaturated monoglyceride. International Dairy Journal 15: 495–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Golding
    • 1
  • Eddie Pelan
    • 2
  1. 1.Food Science AustraliaWerribeeAustralia
  2. 2.Unilever Food and Health Research InstituteNetherlands

Personalised recommendations