WOW emulsions are water-in-oil-in-water emulsions. In normal emulsions, the oil is dispersed in water; in WOW emulsions, however, the oil droplets are packed out with water, which makes for reduced fat.
For the last three years Leatherhead Food International has been investigating the potential for WOW emulsions to be used to reduce fat content of products without sacrificing mouth-feel.
In the pilot phase the researchers have reported using the technology to achieve 40 per cent fat reduction in mayonnaise and cream products without a sensory difference. The next step is for industrial partners to overcome remaining barriers to commercialisation, such as ensuring stability.