Molecular gastronomy gels could tackle obesity

Posted on Tuesday 14th January 2014

A research team of chemical engineers at Birmingham into gels which can be used to give dieters the illusion of feeling full was featured on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph. It also featured the Deccan Herald, O Globo, Times of India, Indo Asian News Service, The Province, Business Standard, Discovery News, Het Nieuwsblad, Daijiworld, Kashmir Dispatch, TopNews USA, MedIndia, French Tribune, Correio da Bahia, Tribuna Hoje, Hindu Business Line, Globedia, El Espectador, Mangalorean, News Track India, ProKerala, Gizmodo Australia, National Post (Canada), Notitarde, ElCaribe, Entorno Inteligente, Contenido, Venezuela al Día, Noticia al Dia and Asian Age.

The researchers extracted the gel from two biopolymers - low acyl and high acyl gellan gum derived from seaweed, starch and citrus peel, 

"The gel works by becoming more solid when it hits an acidic stomach-like environment. It breaks down slowly, giving your brain a chance to catch on that your stomach is full" 

Jennifer Bradbeer, chemical engineering research fellow at University of Birmingham.

The scientists are now planning to work on combining the gel with starch or sugars, this would release it more slowly in the stomach, prolonging the full effect.