Kraft Foods has been awarded US patent # 6149962 for a new method of producing a high-bulk, low calorie ingredient for foods.

This field has been active, with over 25 Patents issued over the last decade finding mentioned in this patent : Most active are Kraft, FMC Corp., Hercules, Alco, Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, Van Den Bergh and Thomas Lipton Divisions of Conopco Inc., Petrella, Arco Chemical, Jacobs Suchard , Danisco AS, and Procter & Gamble.

Abstract

A gel composition of water, substantially linear polymeric monosaccharide and insoluble material exhibiting exceptional gel strength, thermal stability and organoleptic properties that may be utilized as a fat mimetic in food products. A preferred manufacturing method includes microparticulating the composition at elevated temperatures.

Main Claim (of six).

1. A method for the manufacture of a gel composition, said method (1) comprising preparing an aqueous mixture consisting essentially of about 30% to about 35% by weight of a substantially linear polysaccharide, up to about 3 to about 4% by weight of an insoluble material, and water and (2) co-microparticulating said aqueous mixture to provide a particle size distribution of from about 0.1 µm to about 50 µm, wherein said polysaccharide is inulin and said insoluble material is wheat fiber, wherein said co-microparticulating is carried out by micromilling said aqueous mixture at a temperature of from about 115 C. to about 125 C.

By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent