Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Advances in our understanding of the structure and functionality of edible fats and fat mimetics


The reasons for the increased world-wide incidence of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease include sedentary lifestyles and poor food choices. Regulatory agencies in several countries now require companies to add unattractive front of package labels to their products where salt, sugar and fat (or saturated fat) levels are prominently displayed. After the demise of partially hydrogenated fats, saturated fat has become the new target. Consumption of saturated fat over polyunsaturated oil has been clearly shown to increase cholesterol levels in humans. However, saturated fats provide the functionality required in many food products. To complicate matters, concerns over sustainability, veganism, genetically modified organisms, animal welfare, as well as religious beliefs, severely limits our sources of saturated fat. In this review we will discuss recent advances in our understanding of the nano and mesoscale structure of fats, responsible for their physical functionality and contrast it to that of fat mimetics. Fat mimetics include polymeric networks of ethylcellulose, emulsion-templated networks of proteins and polysaccharides, colloidal and self-assembled fibrillar networks of polar lipid crystals, as well as solid o/w emulsions of oil trapped within crystallized lamellar mesophases. Clean label and economic considerations will also be touched upon.

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 22 Aug 2019, accepted on 26 Nov 2019 and first published on 29 Nov 2019

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01704F
Soft Matter, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

  •   Request permissions

    Advances in our understanding of the structure and functionality of edible fats and fat mimetics

    A. Marangoni, J. van Duynhoven, N. C. Acevedo, R. Nicholson and A. Patel, Soft Matter, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01704F

Search articles by author