There has been great concern with the unbalanced consumption of processed foods rich in trans and saturated fats. This has driven the food industry to look for alternatives and to develop products and ingredients which contribute to the reduction of trans and saturated fat content. "Pulse proteins" (chickpeas, beans, peas and lentils) have been recognized for their functional properties which are relevant in food applications. For these reasons, the aim of this work is to structure a liquid oil (rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids) in an emulsion template oleogel, using vegetable protein and xanthan and arabic gums as structuring agents. An oleogel is a process of converting the liquid oil to a gel consistency without modifying its chemical characteristics. The project is divided in two steps. Firstly, the study of the formation of polyelectrolyte complexes of pea protein and xanthan and arabic gums will be performed. Then, oleogels will be structured by the emulsioning method. It is expected to demonstrate the possibility of using emulsion template oleogel as an alternative structuring for edible oils. This technology can contribute with the reduction of fats in foods, in the meantime increasing the protein content of the food in which it is applied.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: