Hot dogs have never been touted as a health food, but a few scientists haven’t completely given up on making the classic ballpark fare slightly better for our arteries. Researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada have found a way to remove some of the saturated fat (the bad fat that leads to high levels of cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease) from hot dogs without creating a rubbery texture, Scientific American’s Sarah Fetch reports.
The healthier frankfurter was created using a mixture of ethyl cellulose and vegetable oil, which forms a gel that keeps “the fatty acid profile of the vegetable oil used, but posses[es] a solid-like structure that can be useful for the replacement of saturated fats in food products.”
Alejandro Marangoni, who studies food and soft materials science at the University of Guelph, told Scientific American that ethyl cellulose gels could replace half of the saturated fat in beef hot dogs without sacrificing taste or texture.
According to Fetch:
Ethyl cellulose is “generally recognised as safe” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is commonly used in pharmaceutical capsules and as a food additive in milk products and baked goods.
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