Running Head: INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE .INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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  • Running Head: INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 1  

    Inulin as a Fat Replacer in Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Glenys Oyston David Penner

    San Francisco State University

  • INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 2  

    Abstract

    Inulin’s health benefits in regards to Type II Diabetes, immune function , hyperlipidemia

    and more, as well as its usefulness in the commercial food industry have been well-researched

    and documented. Inulin has not yet been marketed to consumers as a home baking product,

    perhaps because its use in home baked recipes has not been well-researched. In this experiment,

    inulin was used as a fat replacer in cookies, a baked good that is not made in a lower-fat version

    easily in the home. We used inulin to replace one quarter and one half of the amount of butter in

    two variations of experimental cookies. Both objective and subjective tests showed that the

    experimental cookies rated highly compared to the control cookie. Inulin is a very suitable

    replacement for butter in cookies and may work well in other baked goods.

    Introduction and Purpose

    In today’s food, health and calorie conscious society, many people are more and more

    concerned about their saturated fat, total fat and fiber intake. At the same time, consumers still

    wish to indulge in sweet treats that taste authentically buttery and moist. The food industry has

    found its holy grail of functional foods: inulin, a soluble fiber derived primarily from chicory

    root (but also found in the lettuce families, artichokes, leeks, onions, wheat and asparagus), has

    been used as a suitable fat-replacement in many commercial spreads, dressings and desserts

    (McWilliams, 2008; McGee, 2004; Kalyani Nair, Kharb, Thompkinson, 2010). Inulin is

    categorized as a natural food ingredient in the European Union and as Generally Recognized as

    Safe (GRAS) in the United States (Kalyani Nair et al., 2010), and is called a functional food

    because of the many health benefits associated with its consumption (Holownia, Jaworska-

    Luczak, Bilinski and Wojtyla, 2010). Inulin, then, is a versatile ingredient that may allow

    consumers continue to enjoy rich desserts while lowering their fat intake (especially saturated

  • INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 3  

    fat) and boosting their fiber consumption and should be considered for marketing as a home

    baking ingredient.

    The following research project tested the acceptability of inulin in homemade cookies

    when used as a replacement for fat. We hypothesize that inulin will make a suitable partial

    replacement for fat in a chocolate chip cookie, with desirability near that of the control product.

    Review of Literature

    The benefits of inulin are currently being studied extensively. A review in the journal

    Food Reviews International (Kalyani Nair et al., 2010) describes inulin as having a neutral taste

    (about 10% the sweetness of sucrose), no color, extremely high solubility and very little effect on

    the sensory characteristics of food products. When mixed with water, inulin has a spreadable

    consistency which has been found to be useful in replacing some or all fat in food products; it

    has been used as an emulsifier; it provides textural creaminess in dairy products such as yogurt;

    and it was found to prevent formation of ice crystals in ice cream products in detrimentally cold

    storage conditions. Inulin has a lower caloric value than typical carbohydrates, at

    approximately1.5 kcal/g compared to 4 kcal/g and is considered prebiotic, with studies showing

    that a diet supplemented with inulin stimulated the growth of beneficial bacteria, specifically

    Bifidobacteria, in the colon, helping to improve immune function and inhibit the growth of

    pathogenic bacteria. Inulin also helped to relieve constipation in subjects in several studies. This

    may be due to the short chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are produced by the bacterial digestion of

    inulin, which are important to colon function and lipid metabolism. Inulin has been shown to

    lower serum lipid levels in studies done on saturated fat-fed rats, where inulin appeared to lower

    the triglyceride content of the blood and liver. A study with hamsters showed lower VLDL

    production and a reduction of 29% in plasma total cholesterol. There are fewer human trials

    confirming these findings, likely due to the gastrointestinal discomfort associated with inulin;

  • INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 4  

    however, one study did show lowered LDL and total cholesterol levels in humans consuming 18

    g per day of inulin. Other studies in humans showed a 19% reduction in serum triglyceride levels

    and 10% reduction in insulin levels from consuming 10 g of inulin daily for eight weeks (there

    were no significant changes in HDL or LDL levels). Several studies on both humans and animals

    showed improved mineral absorption of calcium, magnesium and iron when supplemented with

    inulin. The review concluded by discussing animal studies which showed some inhibitory effect

    of inulin on tumors.

    In a study published in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal (Tarini

    and Wolever, 2010), inulin was found to significantly increase serum SCFA, which are

    associated with reduced postprandial free fatty acids (FFA) and ghrelin (a hormone that triggers

    hunger) concentrations. Excessive serum free fatty acids are associated with decreased glucose

    tolerance and increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The authors surmised that dietary fiber increases

    the production of SCFA and inhibits FFA synthesis, which may increase insulin sensitivity.

    Additionally, the authors suggested that the reduced concentrations of ghrelin would help to

    reduce hunger and help with weight management, possibly decreasing disease risk.

    A review in the Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences (Holownia et al., 2010)

    found that the production of SFCA lowered the pH of the colon, helping to reduce growth of

    potentially harmful bacteria. The review pointed out, however, that in-vitro studies showed that

    potentially harmful species of bacteria such as Klebsiella, E. coli and some species of

    Clostridium can also ferment inulin. Gastrointestinal discomfort remains a problem of dietary

    inluin; while some people can easily tolerate up to 10 g a day, others experienced gaseous

    distress with only 1 g. This review also looked at the protective effect of inulin in the intestine

    against gastrointestinal and systemic infection. The studies suggest that inulin supports an

    “antagonistic and competitive action” (Holownia et al., 2010) of beneficial bacteria coupled with

  • INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 5  

    a nourishing effect on the intestinal lining which protects against infection. Other purported

    health benefits found through scientific study were relief of constipation; prevention of colon

    cancer (due to SFCA production); treatment of Chronic Bowel Inflammatory Disease; regulation

    of appetite; increased calcium, magnesium and iron absorption; reducing lipogenesis in

    hyperlipidemic subjects; and, in infants, augmenting immune function, reducing atopic

    dermatitis and certain allergies. There have been a few reported cases of anaphylactic reaction to

    consumption of inulin confirmed by the presence of anti-inulin IgE antibodies, and allergic

    responses in cases where inulin has been used in measuring kidney function.

    A review of the versatility of inulin in the Journal of Excipients and Food Chemicals

    (Barclay, Ginic-Markovic, Cooper and Petrovsky, 2010) discusses the systemic anti-cancer

    potential of inulin which may be linked to the enhancement of gut immune function. Most of the

    studies regarding cancer have been done on animals, but studies in humans to confirm these

    findings are now underway. Dietary inulin helped to reduce atherosclerosis-causing molecule in

    hemodialysis patients while it increased HDL cholesterol and reduced total cholesterol,

    triglycerides, fasting glucose and insulin resistance – all of which may help to decrease

    cardiovascular disease risk – in a study of healthy young men. In this study, inulin was also

    thought to increase the production of a glucagon-like peptide which stimulates insulin release

    and acts as an appetite suppressant. This may ultimately help with weight regulation.

    Inulin has been used as a fat and sugar replacer in several trials. In one experiment,

    published in the journal European Food Research and Technology (Rößle, Ktenioudaki and

    Gallagher, 2011), inulin was used to replace fat in scones. The qualities tested included crust

    color, crumb color, crust hardness, crumb hardness, bread volume, average cell volume and area

    and texture non-uniformity. The study showed that inulin successfully replaced fat in quick

    breads using a control that contained 10% fat. In some cases, the use of inulin increased

  • INULIN AS A FAT REPLACER IN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 6  

    characteristics such as bread volum