My watch list  


Defatting is a term which is used to describe the removal of fatty acids from an object.


Culinary definition

From the perspective of culinary science, the word defatting refers to various methods which are used to reduce the fat content of a meal. This term can be used to categorize procedures that reduce the fat content of a food both after cooking, and during the preparation of the meal. Defatting is also often referred to as fat trimming.

It should also be noted that the term defatting is somewhat counterintuitive. Based on the etymology of the word defatting, defatting should mean, the complete removal of fat from the food item, however, it is to be noted that defatting from a culinary sense only implies the partial removal of fat from the food item.

Benefits of defatting

Defatting is often used by dieters, particularly those following Ornish Diet or other low fat diets to reduce their fat consumption to induce weight loss. The energy content of 1g of fat is 9 calories, while that of carbohydrates and proteins are 4 calories. Hence, dieters often view decreasing fat consumption as an efficient way of losing weight. Defatting during meal preparation is used to reduce the energy content of the food being prepared, and defatting on a prepared food is also often used in social situations where one may have to consume restaurant food which is rich in fat.

Those people who wish to reduce their cholesterol level or fat intake, in particular people with hypercholesterolemia often use defatting to reduce their fat consumption.

Defatting of a meal after preparation

Many different foods can be defatted after preparation. Some of these items are, roasted foods, oily foods which are solid, and liquid foods with floating oil.

Roasted foods can often be defatted without decreasing the crispiness of the food item by simply blotting out the oil in the food item with a tissue paper. For instance, French fries can be defatted by blotting out the fat with a piece of tissue paper. The oil that is blotted on the tissue paper signifies the fat content that was reduced from the meal.

Other oily foods which may not necessarily be roasted, but are solid in nature may also be defatted by the same tissue paper blotting technique. For instance, a slice of pepperoni pizza can be defatted by blotting out some of the fat from the cheese with a tissue paper.

Foods which are liquid in nature and are floating with oil can be defatted by simply, scooping out floating oil with a spoon. For example, a soup which is high in fat content can be defatted by scooping out the floating oil with a spoon and then discarding the oil. In this case, the oil that was scooped out is the fat that was reduced from the meal.

Defatting of a meal during preparation

Fat trimming of a meal can be done during preparation by a variety of methods. The most common methods involving substituting food items or removal of naturally occurring fat and conservative addition of fat.

Substituting fats is a method in which a certain ingredient is substituted by another ingredient. A common way of doing this is substituting saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids while cooking. For instance, olive oil can be used instead of butter for seasoning salad.

Food items are also substituted to reduce fat content. For instance, instead of using eggs by using a whole egg, where the egg yolks are high in fat levels, egg whites can instead be used. Alternatively, skimmed milk or similar low fat products can be used as ingredients for cooking.

Commercial defatting

Many food manufacturing companies such as Weight Watchers have been developed for people who wish to reduce their fat intake. The customer need of defatting has also lead to the production of low fat products, eg., low fat cheese.

Although there is a patent on a lipase inhibitor, there are no products which are commercially available which inhibit fat in food by addition of a compound to the food product, likely because of the development of drugs such as Orlistat which inhibit the absorption of fat instead. Such a product is also not commercially available due to the likely abuse by people suffering from Bulimia Nervosa.

Chemical definition

Defatting is the term of a skin condition similar to Dermatitis resulting from the chronic exposure of human skin to alcohols, detergents, chemical solvents and motor oil caused by the chemical dissolving of the oils (lipids) which constitute the cell membranes.

Defatting can be prevented by wearing appropriate protective clothing such as gloves, lab coats or aprons when dealing with defatting agents on a regular basis for a long time.

It should also be noted that defatting increases the possibility of irritant contact dermatitis.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Defatting". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE