The olive oil-based mixture could help solve obesity crisis
A newly created food ingredient helps you feel fuller for twice as long and could help solve the obesity crisis.
Scientists have developed an olive oil-based mixture which, when added to milkshakes, dramatically reduced appetites.
They are now planning to add the ’emulsion’ to processed foods to see if it has the same effect. The new emulsion would be used to make food such as burgers seem filling for twice as long.
Experts believe that more than half the adult population of Britain will be obese by 2050 unless they change their diets or take more exercise. Failure to do so will cause a huge increase in the numbers with heart disease, stroke and cancer.
The mixture, developed by engineers at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, is based on olive oil, water and stabilisers used in the baking industry. Tests showed one particular blend kept those tested feeling fuller for 12 hours after eating.
The three-year project found that emulsions of olive oil and water – the same principle as a salad dressing – can be altered to affect how they react in the acid environment of the stomach. This is because when the water separates, it leaves the stomach much more quickly; but when it stays mixed with oil it stays there for longer – giving the person the feeling of being full, and reducing the craving for food.
Martin Wickham, from the IFR, said it could take five years for any dietary supplements containing the ingredient to get on to the supermarket shelves. He said: ‘It is important to keep weight down, and this is a more acceptable way of doing it than restricting your food intake on a diet.’
Luca Marciani, of Nottingham University, which helped with the study, said: ‘Our research proves it is possible to design oil-in-water emulsions with different behaviours in the gut to influence gastrointestinal physiology and, ultimately, satiety.’