Fat is present in most foods, providing flavor, aroma, and a particular texture. It is one of the three primary macronutrients, along with carbohydrate and protein. Fat offers significant health benefits as an essential part of the diet; yet, when ingested in excess, it can lead to a variety of health problems such as high cholesterol, an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and other problems.
Reduced-fat foods with the texture and flavor of high-fat foods but substantially fewer calories, cholesterol, and fat content have been made possible thanks to fat replacers. Proteins, carbs, lipids, or a combination of these components are chemically similar to fat replacers.
These substances are mixed together to give specific functionalities for the fat that is being replaced. Carbohydrate-based fat replacers, such as cellulose, gums, starches, polydextrose, and others, are the most extensively used among the various types of fat replacers, offering thickening and stabilizing effects on food products.
The fat replacer market is being driven by reasons such as rising demand for low-fat diets, rising health consciousness among people, the expanding food and beverage sector, and the rising prevalence of diabetes.
Fat replacers are compounds that are used to mimic and replace fats in meals without altering the flavor or texture. They’re frequently used in the production of low-fat foods, beverages, and dairy products.
Furthermore, rising concerns about the rise in heart-related disorders is a primary driver of the fat-replacement market’s expansion. Obesity cases have nearly tripled globally since 1975, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2016, an estimated 1.9 billion adults aged 18 and up were overweight. Around 650 million people were obese out of this total.
Obesity and overweight have since been linked to a variety of chronic illnesses, including osteoarthritis and kidney failure. As a result, the consumption of low-fat meals is expanding. As a result, the market for fat replacers is expanding.
Furthermore, a number of international and national organizations are beginning campaigns to reduce fat intake and promote the use of fat substitutes. The WHO, for example, announced the REPLACE project in 2018 to remove industrially manufactured trans fats.