Issues of obesity seem to be on a rise and the following article may help tackle this major health issue. Researchers from the Institute of Food Research, an institute of the BBSRC claim to have identified a novel synergy that aids in breaking down fat. The findings may open doors to new ways of making fat digestion a gradual process, which can finally develop food structures leading to satiety.
When the digestion of fat is slowed down, fatty acids may be able to reach the ileum. The final section of the small intestine is known as the ileum. The presence of fatty acids in this section can possibly stimulate satiety-inducing hormones. The experiments were being initiated with the inclusion of protein layers for stabilizing emulsions and suppress fat digestion. In conclusion, it was affirmed that when a normally-stable whey protein is attached to the surface of an emulsion, it is broken down to a certain extent and not completely.
“Much of the fat in processed foods is eaten in the form of emulsions such as soups, yogurt, ice cream and mayonnaise. We are unpicking the mechanisms of digestion used to break them down so we can design fats in a rational way that are digested more slowly,” elucidated Dr Peter Wilde from the Institute of Food Research.
The protein layer may break down more efficiently if a surfactant is included. This is because a surfactant is predicted to act synergistically with the fat. Once the barrier is weakened, enzymes and bile salts can seemingly invade better and break down fat. Further tests are being undertaken to analyze if heat and enzyme treatments can decrease the synergistic effect and make the protein barrier stronger. Claimed to be novel research, the scientists have put forth a detailed understanding of the mechanisms through which emulsions possibly act under different conditions. Also the process of emulsion digestion is being examined to figure out the means of employing it to regulate satiety.
This research was funded by the BBSRC and by the EU.