Booster Shots

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Deep-fried food with less fat?

October 7, 2009 |  6:00 pm

Ah, the wonders of technology. Yesterday I wrote about food technologists' attempt to come up with dried strawberries with their own sugars removed and stevia infused in them instead, so they still taste sweet. (After all, strawberries are the death of every diet!)

Today, we learn of another invention, this from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service: a rice-based batter that "absorbs up to 50% less cooking oil than traditional batters," according to the department's press materials. Rice flour is more resistant to oil uptake than wheat flour.

The low-cal dried strawberry is still in the future, just a distant dream, but consumers can purchase and try out the low-fat-absorbing batter, called ChoiceBatter, right here. (It was created as part of the ARS' Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products program.)

(About the strawberries, we wondered: Why not eat fresh fruit? About ChoiceBatter, we kinda wonder: Why not deep-fry less food?  I may try it out on my next deep-fried Mars bar, however.)

-- Rosie Mestel

Photo: Agricultural Research Service scientists Kim Daigle and Fred Shih cook with the new rice flour batter. Credit: Scott Bauer / USDA