Sunflower Oil Drops Saturated Fat in Shortbread

Replacing butter with high oleic sunflower oil in shortbreads decreased the final saturated fatty acids (SFA) content by 52% and 61%, respectively, while maintaining quality attributes similar to those of traditional shortbreads, according to a new study published in the Journal of Food Science.

PERUGIA, Italy—Replacing butter with high oleic sunflower oil in shortbreads decreased the final saturated fatty acids (SFA) content by 52% and 61%, respectively, while maintaining quality attributes similar to those of traditional shortbreads, according to a new study published in the Journal of Food Science.

Researchers at the University of Perugia assessed the formulation of low SFA shortbreads by replacing 60% and 70% of the butter content with high oleic sunflower oil and water. High consumption of SFA is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers evaluated the quality of the low SFA shortbreads through acidity, peroxide value, moisture, ash content, water activity, pH, protein, fat content and fatty acid profiles. A sensory evaluation was also performed to ascertain the effect on flavor. Stability of the new formulations was assessed by conducting accelerated shelf-life studies.

The researchers found that replacing butter with high oleic sunflower oil at levels of 60% and 70% decreased the final SFA content by 52% and 61%, respectively. It did increase the monounsaturated fat content by 55% on average while polyunsaturated fat content increased by 40%. Further, the new formulations possess quality parameters similar to those of traditional shortbreads. The study of the shelf life of the products showed that there are no significant variations in peroxide values, malondialdehyde content, or fatty acid profiles in biscuits over time, confirming their high stability. The quantitative descriptive analysis showed that the traditional shortbreads and low SFA shortbreads have similar sensory profiles, and the consumer tests indicated that the low SFA shortbreads were well liked.

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