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1. (WO1993016606) COMPOSITION COMESTIBLE
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Comestible Formulation

The present invention is concerned with a comestible formulation, suitable in some embodiments for use as a reduced fat spread, and in other embodiments for other uses such as chocolate or the like.
In view of the increased awareness of the beneficial effects of diets which reduce cholesterol intake, we have developed a lipomimetic (fat-simulating) comestible formulation having a substantially lower proportion of lipids (fatty materials) when compared to analogous lipidic food materials such as butter, margarine or the like, or products which contain such lipidic materials.
According to the present invention there is provided a lipomimetic comestible formulation, which comprises a lipidic ingredient intimately mixed with a finely divided cereal or pulse material having a particle size of less than 25 microns.
It is preferred that the cereal or pulse material is obtained from plant testae. The term "testae" as used herein denotes the hard shell or seed coat of plant material. The testaceous material contributes fibrous beta glucan to the formulation according to the present invention. Consumption of the formulation is beneficial in that it enables the intake of animal fat to be decreased, thereby possibly helping to decrease the total blood cholesterol. The formulation according to the invention has substantial heat stability and is useful in a variety of food applications, such as pasteurised cheeses and baked products such as bread, biscuits, muffins and cakes.
The plant testae are typically obtained from cereal husks (particularly rice, oats, barley, wheat, sorghum or corn husks) or from pulse material (such as the endocarp of peanuts or similar nuts) which are rich in arabinoxylan or glucuronoarabinoxylan. Unwanted materials (such as contaminants, impurities and other parts of the plant) are removed from the husks or bran which are then ground to a particle size of less than 25 microns. The ground material is then sieved to produce the desired testaceous material.

It is particularly preferred that the finely divided material comprises an oat composition which typically consists essentially of ground oats in any suitable form such as flour, oatmeal or flakes.
Preferably the lipidic ingredient comprises butter, margarine, cocoa butter, hardened palm kernel oil, a reduced-fat equivalent of any of the preceding ingredients, or the like; alternatively, nut oil or finely ground nuts may be used. The amount thereof may typically be from 35 to 65% by weight, based on the combined weight of the lipidic ingredients plus finely divided material.
In a first embodiment of the present invention the testaceous material is formed by grinding oat husks. In this embodiment the resulting formulation is generally suitable for use as a spread optionally containing a potable aqueous liquid, such as water.
It is preferred that the potable aqueous liquid is present in a greater proportion than the oats in the formulation. Typically 2oz of oats are mixed with 12oz of the aqueous liquid. It is further preferred that the aqueous liquid should be heated to a temperature approximately equal to its boiling point prior to mixing with the oats.
In a second embodiment of the present invention, ground oat husks of particle size less than 25 microns, are intimately mixed with sugar preferably having a particle size comparable to that of icing sugar (but not necessarily containing an anti-caking agent such as would normally be present in icing sugar). The resultant mix is further combined with cocoa mass and/or cocoa butter and optionally a potable liquid such as water. The mix may be cast into moulds. The method according to the second embodiment of the present invention is particularly applicable for the manufacture of chocolate or chocolate substitute wherein the ground oat husks or the like replace the milk powder conventionally included in the chocolate formulation.
The formulation according to the invention may comprise further ingredients such as seasoning (particularly salt), butter or vanilla or other flavouring, lecithin, and in some cases setting agents such as gelatine. Any further ingredients present in the formulation should, of course, be such that they can be intimately mixed with the remainder of the formulation.

In the case where the formulation comprises a potable aqueous liquid, it is preferred that the latter is present in a sufficient quantity to impart a pasty consistency to the mixture. It is further preferred that the oats and the aqueous liquid are mechanically liquidised at sufficiently high intensity, with high speed blades so as to produce a material with the consistency of cream prior to mixing with the lipidic ingredient.
There is further provided by the present invention a method of producing a lipomimetic comestible formulation substantially as hereinbefore described, which method comprises intimately mixing a finely divided pulse or cereal material of particle size less than 25 microns with a lipidic ingredient.
It is preferred that the finely divided material is obtained by grinding plant testae. A particularly preferred testaceous material is obtained from oat husks substantially as hereinbefore described. Preferably the lipidic ingredient comprises butter, margarine, hardened palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, a reduced-fat equivalent of any of the preceding ingredients, or the like; alternatively, nut oil or finely ground nuts may be used.
It is preferred that the method further involves mixing a potable aqueous liquid, typically water, with the finely divided material and lipidic ingredient. It is preferred that successive quantities of the aqueous liquid are added to the finely divided material and lipidic ingredient.
Typically the finely ground material is initially mixed with a potable aqueous liquid prior to mixing with lipidic ingredient. In a preferred embodiment, the mixture of ground material and aqueous liquid may be placed in a cool environment and allowed to set to produce a gel material. The resultant gel material is subsequently mixed with the lipidic ingredient to produce a low fat spread, such as butter or margarine.
Formulations according to the present invention have several potential uses. For example, they can be used as reduced fat spreads in place of conventional butter or margarine. Alternatively, they can be used as an ingredient in any of the following exemplary products: ice cream and frozen desserts; beverages including milk, milk shakes and instant-type breakfast drinks; chocolate (for example, as described above); salad dressings; sauces and gravies; soups; cheeses; peanut butter-type spreads; mayonnaise; bread; biscuits; cakes; pancakes; custard; cereals and dietetic foods. Finally, the formulation may be used in baking preparations, such as pastries, cake mixes or the like.

The present invention will now be further illustrated by reference to the following examples, which do not limit the scope of the invention in any way.
Example 1
2oz of finely ground oat husks of particle size less than 25 microns were added to 12oz of boiling water. The mixture was then liquidised at sufficient speed and intensity for approximately two minutes to produce a material having the consistency of cream. 4oz of butter and a pinch of salt were added to the liquidised material to produce a formulation having a pasty consistency. The formulation was suitable for use as a low-fat spread, and also for use as a fat in a bakable product.
The formulation could optionally be further mixed with approximately 3oz of nuts (e.g. peanuts, almonds or the like) and the mixture subjected to further liquidisation. The resultant spread may be a low-fat substitute for peanut butter.
Example 2
3oz of finely ground oat husks of particle size less than 25 microns were added to 19oz of boiling water. The mixture was then liquidised as described above to produce a material having the consistency of cream. The following ingredients were then added to the material:
3oz peanuts
1 dessert spoon of lemon juice
1.5 dessert spoons or gelatine
1 level teaspoon of salt
1.5 teaspoons of sugar
The resulting product may be a low-fat substitute for peanut butter.
Example 3
12oz of finely ground oat husks having a particle size of less than 25 microns were mixed with 12.5oz of sugar, 1.5oz of fat reduced cocoa powder and 5g of lecithin. The mixture was then intimately mixed with 8oz of cocoa butter and 0.4g of vanilla flavouring. ' The product was then poured into a mould and allowed to set, resulting in a low fat chocolate substitute.

Example 4
3.5oz of cocoa mass and 8oz of cocoa butter were heated to about 45 to 55°C and mixed with lOoz of sugar and the equivalent in calorie-free sweetener (such as saccharin or aspartame) or 5oz sugar. 11.25 to 12oz of ground oat husks having a particle size of about 20 microns was gradually added to the mixture. One half ounce of vanilla flavouring and 5g of lecithin were then added to the mix, which was poured into moulds and allowed to set, to again produce a chocolate-type material.
Example 5
32.2 parts by weight of cocoa butter or hardened palm kernel oil was heated to approximately 45 to 55°C. 32.2 parts by weight of oats were ground to a particle size of less than 25 microns and the ground oats mixed with 42.1 parts by weight of sugar and 4.4 parts by weight of cocoa solids in a mixing bowl. The mixture was then further stirred on slow speed in a conventional confectionery mixer, followed by high speed mixing for approximately 55 minutes on addition of 0.4 parts by weight lecithin and 0.1 part by weight of vanilla flavouring.
The resultant mix was then poured into moulds and allowed to set to form a chocolate bar-type product.
Example 6
2oz of finely ground oats of particle size less than 25 microns and 12oz of boiling water were mechanically liquidised. The liquidised mixture was cooled and left to set to produce a gel material.
14oz of peanuts, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and 0.4oz of preservative were mixed for approximately 4 minutes at high speed in a food processor.
The gel material was then added to the mixture of peanuts, salt, sugar and preservative in the food processor, and mixed on slow speed for about 1 minute. Lecithin was then added to the mixture which was further mixed in the food processor on high speed for about 3 minutes.
The resultant material was then allowed to set to produce a low-fat substitute for peanut butter.

Example 7
16OZ of peanuts, 0.25oz of sugar, 0.25oz of salt and about 0.5oz of preservative were mixed on high speed in a food processor for approximately 4 minutes. 4oz of whole oats, ground to a particle size of less than 25 microns, were added and mixed on low speed for approximately 1 minute.
Lecithin was then added to the oat and peanut material, which was then mixed on high speed in the processor for about 3 minutes.
The resultant material was put into jars, and allowed to set.
Example 8
2oz of finely ground cornflour of particle size less than 25 microns and 12oz of boiling water were mechanically liquidised, and the mixture cooled and left to set to produce a gel material.
One quarter of a pint of the resultant gel material was mixed at high speed in a food processor, for approximately 5 minutes, with the following ingredients: 1 level teaspoon of salt, half level teaspoon of dry mustard powder, a pinch of caster sugar, a pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 0.2oz of lemon juice and 0.3oz of emulsifier.
The product was a low-fat mayonnaise.