Low-Fat Cake, Courtesy of the Federal Government!

Scientists are working on a foolproof formula.

Low-Fat Cake, Courtesy of the Federal Government!

Scientists are working on a foolproof formula.

-Jane Farrell

Cake

Bet you thought U.S. scientists were concerned mostly with nuclear weapons, space shuttles and serious illnesses.

But in Peoria, Ill., food technologists working at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) are perfecting a substance known as Fantesk, a mixture of cornstarch and oil. (NCAUR is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.) A mixture of the cornstarch and oil, created through high-pressure steam cooking, can come in liquid, frozen or powder form, isn’t greasy and doesn’t have that disappointing low-fat taste, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“You’re getting the taste of fat in every bite that you eat, but actually it’s not a lot of fat,” researcher Mukti Sing told the website LiveScience.com. And since Fantesk would be an ingredient in readymade cake mix, there’s no need to add oil or butter before baking.

As a result, cake mixes can end up being 50 percent lower in fat, Singh said. Fantesk is also effective in frosting.

Singh and other scientists hope that widespread use of the product, which is in development for use in cheese as well as cake and frosting, would have a noticeable effect on the obesity epidemic. (Live Science, USDA)

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