Low-fat fried food

A chemist has created a protein solution that can be used to coat fish. When the fish is then deep-fried, it contains 50-percent less fat than if it had been deep-fried without the coating.The protein solution is extracted from fish muscle. When coated onto the fish it forms a barrier, locking in taste and moisture, but blocking out fat and carbohydrates. "These protein molecules after we treat them and extract them the way we do, they form these very, very, micro-thin films that -- when they are sprayed onto the surface -- become this invisible, impenetrable, film that forms on the surface," Stephan Kelleher, Ph.D., a food chemist at Proteus Industries in Gloucester, Mass., says.The protein molecules go through a treatment process. Water and other ingredients are filtered then added to the batter. Stephen says the finished product has 25-percent to 75-percent less fat. Plus the added protein cuts down the carbohydrates by 15 percent.When put to the test, comparing traditional fried batter to the special protein coating, both food tasters agreed there was nothing fishy about the low-fat, fried meal.The process is FDA approved and can be used to fry low-fat chicken, too. They are also testing the application on other foods, like potato chips.GOOD FATS VS. BAD FATS: Fats should account for no more than 30 percent of the total calories we consume, but good health also depends on whether those are "good" fats or "bad" fats. Mono-unsaturated fats, like olive oil and canola oil, are considered good because they can help lower cholesterol. Saturated (animal) fats are thought of as bad because they clog the arteries. A third type of fat is made when corn oil or other fats that are usually liquid at room temperature are solidified through heating. This type of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, called trans fatty acid is a main ingredient in vegetable shortening and margarine. It is the worst kind of fat. In the body, the enzymes responsible for processing fats have trouble breaking down trans fatty acids and spend so much time trying to do so that it interferes with the processing of essential fatty acids.WHAT ARE EFAs? There are two types of essential fatty acids (EFAs): Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods like fish, flax and pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil, for example. EFAs have been shown to protect against heart disease, but the body can't make them, so we must consume them in food. Ideally, these should be balanced in the diet at a ratio of two-to-one; in most Western diets, that ratio is 20-to-one.

Source: ivanhoe.comAdded: 2 November 2006