Tropical fruit, Asimina triloba, more commonly known as the pawpaw, may be the next low-fat alternative for the health-conscious consumer. Researchers at the University of Ohio in the US replaced fat with a pawpaw puree and found that people enjoyed the change. They gave 114 people to taste test three types of muffins: a higher fat recipe that used vegetable oil and two low-fat alternatives, one made with applesauce, a common low-fat replacement, and the other, with pawpaw. Both the apple sauce and the pawpaw recipes used one tablespoon of oil compared to the other recipe, which called for one quarter-cup of oil. Study participants ranked the muffins in appearance, tenderness, flavour, texture and overallacceptability. The researchers, led by assistant professor in food nutrition Melani Duffrin, found participants liked the pawpaw muffins as much as they enjoyed the higher fat muffins. Pawpaw has a higher fat content than apples-about 13.5 per cent calories of fat compared to 5.5 per cent in apples. Duffrin commented, "A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Consumers might choose a low-fat product if they think it tastes as good as the full-fat product." Full findings of the study are published in the spring issue of - Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal.