Scientists have created a spread that is made almost entirely of water, in an attempt to make a healthier alternative to butter.
The spread is derived from 80 per cent water and 20 per cent fat, while real butter is made of 80 per cent fat - and has no artificial ingredients.
A tablespoon of the fake 'butter' contains a quarter of the fat (2.8g) and calories (25.2) of the real thing, barely touching daily dietary guidelines.
The scientists have not said when the spread would be available, or what it tastes like, but previous 'healthy' butters have left customers disappointed.
However, the team said how it was created gives the fake spread the 'consistency of butter', as well as having a similar 'creaminess'.
Scientists have created a spread that is made almost entirely of water in an attempt to make a healthier alternative to butter
Cornell University food scientists said the product feels like butter but has barely any saturated fats in comparison (stock)
Government officials have ruled that people cut down on butter because it contains saturated fat, which is bad for heart health.
However, there is evidence saturated fat – also abundant in cheese and red meats – is good for health, too.
Food scientists at Cornell University are behind the low-calorie spread, and shared its creation in a paper published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Saturated fat is a natural form of fat found in meats, butter and cheese.
It differs from unsaturated fat in the way chains of fatty acids are joined together.
Eating a lot of saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels in an unhealthy way and increase someone's risk of developing heart disease.
This is because the cholesterol builds up on the walls of the arteries, narrowing them and increasing pressure on the heart while restricting blood and oxygen flow.
Foods high in saturated fat include:Fatty red meats such as pork and beef Butter and products made of butter, including pastries and pies Cakes and biscuits Cheese, cream and ice cream Chocolate
The British Heart Foundation recommends that, where possible, people swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats.Unsaturated fats are those found in: Nuts and seeds Fish such as salmon and mackerel Vegetable oils, including olive oil Peanut butter Avocados
Senior author Professor Alireza Abbaspourrad said: 'Imagine 80 per cent water in 20 per cent oil and we create something with the consistency of butter.'
He added it would have the same 'creaminess' and texture as the real thing, adding: 'Essentially, we can create something that makes it feel like butter.
'And instead of seeing a lot of saturated fat, this [spread] has minute amounts. It's a completely different formulation.'
The spread is an emulsion - a mixture of two or more liquids which do not normally mix well, in this case water and oil.
Combining water and oil is nothing new, but the scientists were able to use new technology to make the perfect blend.
They emulsified a large amount of water with miniscule drops of vegetable oil and milk fat to mimic butter.
Such mixtures need to have a stabiliser added to them to ensure they don't ruin over time. But the