Epogee is a new fat replacement that can lower the fat in food without causing the side effects commonly caused by products like Olestra, such as gastrointestinal issues.

Below, Jayme Caruso – chief commercial officer for Epogee, explains what the product is, how it differs from Olestra, and the best ways for the confectionery industry to use it. 

What is Epogee?

Jayme Caruso: Epogee EPG (Esterified Propoxylated Glycerol) is an alternative fat replacer, derived from GMO-free plant-sourced oils, so it functions exactly like fat. EPG lowers total calories of food products by up to 45 percent per serving and can replace up to 90 percent of the total fat in formulations. It can reduce calories from the replaced fat by 92 percent without sacrificing flavor, texture or functionality.

How does it differ from something like Olestra?

Jayme Caruso: Unlike Olestra, or any other predecessors in the fat replacement category, EPG’s starting material is fat, not starch or sucrose. Because EPG is solid at body temperature, there are no gastrointestinal issues with elevated consumption. We have conducted 65 safety studies over 17 years of research, and we have proven EPG to be safe up to 150g/day consumption levels, more than double the RDI for fat, with no adverse side effects. In addition, EPG does not block or impede the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins so there is no need to add additional vitamins to formulations.

How would Epogee help the confectionery industry? Which types of products would it work best for?

Jayme Caruso: EPG will help the confectionery industry by allowing manufacturers and consumers re-imagine mindful indulgence as a wonderfully satisfying experience. 

EPG was originally designed to replace cocoa butter in chocolate. Its unique melting properties, when combined with a digestible fat like cocoa butter, mimic that of the fat being replaced, thereby allowing for the creation of products that behave exactly like their full fat counterparts, with up to 35 percent fewer calories. 

The sharp melting curve in our confectionery EPG allows chocolate made with EPG to melt rapidly in the mouth providing a long, creamy mouthfeel and full clean up, leaving no waxy residue on the palate.

However, EPG is not limited to chocolates and compound coatings. Epogee is developing many uses for EPG in the confectionery industry helping drive out calories from fat in whichever products fats and oils are being used.

How does Epogee impact the taste of something like chocolate?

Jayme Caruso: EPG tastes like fat because it’s made from fat. Since EPG is made from neutral plant-sourced oils, it has no taste or aroma of its own. There is no direct flavor impact caused by the use of EPG. However, because EPG does not leave a waxy coating in the mouth, products made with EPG are often preferred for taste in many studies.

How does Epogee impact the nutritional panel of foods?

Jayme Caruso: EPG has a dramatically significant effect on the nutritional panel of the foods in which it is an ingredient. In the example of a standard milk chocolate bar, calories are reduced from 210 calories per bar to 138 calories per bar, that is approximately a 35 percent reduction in calories. In addition, the FDA does not require the labeling of the non-digestible grams of fat thereby lowering the labeled fat grams from 13 grams per bar or 5 grams per bar, approximately a 61 percent reduction in the grams of labeled fat.

How safe is Epogee?

Epogee EPG is GMO-free, allergen-free, gluten-free, vegan and kosher. 

The data supporting EPG’s safety is among one of the strongest databases ever developed for a new food ingredient. This elevated rating is due to the extremely large number of high-quality studies that have been conducted over a long period of time.

EPG has been rigorously tested in 65 studies and study design and study results have been shared with the FDA. Seven journal articles supporting its safety have been published in peer reviewed/professional journals.

EPG Fat Replacer has achieved the FDA’s “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) designation via three GRN notices for a variety of food applications– achieved through rigorous testing, publication and evaluation from qualified third-party experts.

EPG is GRAS in a wide range of food uses including:

  • Confectionery products
  • Frying applications
  • Baked goods and mixes
  • Frozen dairy desserts
  • Peanut and nut butters
  • Spreads, dips, gravies and sauces
  • Grain products and pasta

Is Epogee available for manufacturers now?

Jayme Caruso: EPG is readily available to ship to manufacturers. For more information please contact Jayme Caruso, Epogee Foods - chief commercial officer, at jcaruso@epogeefoods.com