Shortbread cookies with 0, 20, 40 and 50% fat replacement were obtained using an emulsion filled gel (EFG) based on inulin and extra virgin olive oil and studied during 60 storage days. Increasing the amount of EFG in shortbread cookies, higher volumes and harder texture were observed, in relation to the higher water availability and the lower fat content. Thermal analysis conducted by means of DSC and 1H-NMR confirmed the key role of lipids and water status on the mechanical properties of shortbread cookies. Darker colour and toasted notes were registered for increasing levels of EFG, in relation to the presence of inulin involved in the Maillard reaction. During storage, all the cookies resulted very stable regarding dimensions, colour and rancidity perception; only slight texture changes were observed, probably related to the moisture redistribution among the cookies components. EFG can be proposed as valuable ingredient to replace fats in shortbread cookies, allowing the use of the health claim “reduced saturated fat content” already from 40% butter substitution.
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