Scientists from the University of Queensland have developed a new kind of healthy muffin capable of slowing down the absorption of fats, leading to the reduction of cholesterol in the blood.
The muffin, dubbed as "Good Heart" muffin, could help lower the risk of heart disease. The secret behind the cholesterol properties of the Good Heart muffin is the so-called beta glucans.
"There is good evidence that three grams or more of oats beta glucan consumption a day can help reduce cholesterol levels," said Dr. Nima Gunness, a scientist at UQ's Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences and a keen baker, in a press release. "I wanted to turn my discovery into a product, like a muffin, that people could eat to help reduce the amount of cholesterol in their blood stream, lowering the risk of heart disease."
Beta glucans is a healthy soluble fibre that occurs naturally in the cell walls of oats and cereals. Previously, researchers from University of Queensland and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls showed that beta glucan fibre in oats can indeed slow the absorption of fats, reducing blood cholesterol.
The Good Heart muffin contains three grams of oats beta glucan. It took several months before Dr. Gunness perfected her very own low-fat blueberry muffin recipe. She noted that the trick to making the perfect Good Heart muffin is to avoid making it gluggy from all the extra oat bran and beta glucan fibre.
The next step now for the muffin is to make it available for public consumption. A student of UQ Business School, in collaboration with UQ's commercialization company UniQuest, is now finding it out ways on how to package and freeze the muffins to make it available in supermarkets, cafes and health food outlets.
Dr. Gunness, with the help of UniQuest, is also working hand in hand with Australian food company Priestley's Gourmet Delights to manufacture and taste-test a batch of Good Heart muffins.
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