Scientists develop healthy gummies

Tuesday, 26 July, 2022

Scientists develop healthy gummies

Scientists from the National Research Centre in Egypt have developed spreads and gummies that could be used to boost levels of healthy fats in the body. The researchers made a spreadable gel high in polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants using canola oil, and this gel can be flavoured and turned into gummies, or integrated into other products like baked goods to improve their nutritional values.

The researchers produced oleogels — gels that are composed of oils and that can be used as vehicles for various functional ingredients like phytosterols, lecithin and β-carotene — using canola oil due to its healthy level of unsaturated fats. To make it, oil was combined with stearic acid and milk proteins, with the resulting substance being nutritious due to the presence of proteins that are easy to digest. The researchers added juice from carrots and doum (a fruit of a local palm tree) to boost the gel’s nutrition and flavour. The gel can be used to make gummies with the addition of sugar and gelatine, which can be a nutritious snack and even have higher levels of proteins than the spreadable form.

These spreads and gummies have high levels of unsaturated fats, which are generally better for the body at room temperature than ones high in trans-fats or saturated fats. They also have high levels of antioxidants. They can be eaten by themselves or used in other products and the authors surveyed consumers about the taste and texture of the gels and gummies, with the reception to these qualities being very positive.

With a long shelf life and the ability for it to be used in cakes, breads or candies, the Egyptian scientists believe that their gel could be a way of increasing the nutritional value of products, especially if the gel is replacing less-healthy alternatives, and suggest that it could be adopted as a simple way of increasing good dietary fats.

The full paper is available in the journal Scientific Reports.

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