Trans fatty acids play an important role in the structuration and in the plastic properties of foods, such as margarines, spreads, shortenings, biscuit filling, among others. On the other hand, international health institutes recommend a limited ingestion of these fats, which can increase low density lipoproteins (LDL) and reduce high density lipoproteins (HDL) in the blood. In general, foods without trans fatty acids needed significant increase in the content of saturated fatty acids to reach similar technological and sensorial characteristics than the other foods, and it may also cause health issues. Recently, waxes from sundry sources presented good capacity to structure vegetal oils into organogels, which were used to produce margarines, spreads, cakes, biscuits and hamburgers, but it is yet limited the knowledge about which characteristics one organogel should present to be able to substitute trans fatty acids, catalyze the crystallization of saturated fatty acids and, principally, to work as a food additive without negative effects over the sensorial characteristics. The aims of this project are: to determine the relevant parameters of palm oil, coconut oil and soy oil organogelation using rice bran wax, carnauba wax and candelilla wax; develop a methodology able to transfer the main information obtained during organogelation studies to predict the wax structuration potential of oils enriched with vegetal fatty acids from palm oil and coconut oil; study the behavior of the best organogelators when in contact with amphiphilic substances to produce emulsions; and, finally, prepare and evaluate margarines, spreads, cakes and biscuits made with the best organogels/emulsions.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: