If weight-loss happens to be one of your 2014 resolutions, you may be able to achieve that goal and all you need is to consume an edible gel that swells in your stomach.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have claimed to create an edible gel that swells in the stomach to make you feel fuller. The gel is reportedly harder to digest and breaks down slowly, leaving the person feel less hungry. Thus, this helps reduce the person’s desire to snack or overeat. This happens through the combination of two food ingredients that will expand to form a solid gel when exposed to stomach acid.
Jennifer Bradbeer, a chemical engineer behind this diet gel project believes that controlling the consumer’s food intake is one way of tackling high and rising levels of obesity.
According to the report, some of the ingredients used are derived from seaweed, starch and citrus peel. These ingredients form water soluble gums that are used in molecular gastronomy. The researchers add that in most conditions, these gums act as food thickeners.
She explains that when the gum comes in contact with the highly acidic environment of the stomach, they combine to form a stiff gel that breaks down slowly in the stomach.
Miss Bradbeer added that they now want to combine the gels with starch or sugars that could slowly be released as they are digested. She explains:
“Once in contact with low pH conditions these hydrocolloids self-structure to form gels.
They can be delivered in liquid or soft solid products without an adverse effect on consumer response.
The use of gel alone is more than capable of providing prolonged satiety but leads to unpleasant sensations for the consumer if there is no delivery of energy to the body to compliment the sensation of satiety.
A key next step to this project, which is currently in progress, is to look at ways to encapsulate either sugars or starches that can be slowly released and metabolised and provide a satisfactory, but low, level of nutrition and maintain consumer contentment over time.”
Do you think this gel is worth trying? After all, drinking plenty of water can also have the same effect, except it’s less harmful and comes with beauty benefits.
Tell us what you think about this new method to tackle weight loss in the comments section.