Epogee LLC offers an alternative fat, EPG, that has been shown to reduce calories by up to 45% in products without compromising taste, texture and functionality, according to the Indianapolis-based company.
Jayme Caruso, chief commercial officer, gave details on EPG (esterified propoxylated glycerol) and consumer interest in caloric reduction during a webinar hosted by Food Business News. He pointed to Mintel data released in February showing 72% of US adults are trying to manage their weight and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, reporting that 72% of US adults over age 20 are overweight or obese.
The Food and Drug Administration has made it easier for Americans to track their caloric intake, too. The new Nutrition Facts Label on food and beverage products has an increased font size for calories.
“Considering the importance of counting calories and the rapid rise of hundreds of various dieting apps that help you track your daily caloric intake, it should come as no surprise that the FDA is making this specific information particularly easy to find,” Caruso said. “With glaringly big text, it’s pretty clear that the FDA is trying to help people pay close attention to how many calories they are consuming from each food that they eat.”
EPG works as a one-to-one replacement for fat. Fat normally has 9 calories per gram, but through proprietary technology Epogee makes EPG that has 0.7 calories per gram.
“EPG is a solid, alternative fat that tastes and functions like traditional fat, but because EPG is not broken down during digestion, the fat calories are not absorbed by the body,” Caruso said. “That’s how we’re able to reduce caloric intake by up to 45% or more per serving depending on the formulation.”
EPG has Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for use in items like fried foods, baked foods and mixes, nutrition bars, candies and confectionery items, frozen desserts, nut butters, spreads and dips, and pasta. Since EPG is made from fat, formulations that contain the ingredient do not need additional sugar or artificial sweeteners to improve the flavor.
EPG may appear on product ingredient lists as EPG (modified plant-based oil). Using EPG eliminates the need for other ingredients like starches, gums and binders, thus reducing the length of the ingredient list, Caruso said.
Registration for the free webinar may be found here.