There is still a lot to gain in sustainability in the agri food chain, when it comes to a more effective use of raw materials. Researchers from TI Food and Nutrition, together with FNLI and CBL, are working on the Multi Criteria Decision Model, with which manufacturers and retailers can make well-considered improvements. The aim of the food sector is to produce more, with less. And this aim is now getting closer to achieving.
Read the article in VMT (Dutch)
The sound a food makes when it is being consumed is an important sensory factor influencing consumer acceptance of a product. Much research has been conducted over the years on measuring the sound a food produces as it is being chewed and correlating it with results of sensory evaluation.
Read the article in Food Technology
Most of the powder products available on the market is produced using a spray drying process. Drying processes are known to be the most energy consuming processes used in the food industry. For example, the Dutch dairy industry required 1.4 PJ for drying its whey and milk powder in 2007. Therefore, a reduction of the energy consumption in drying processes will result in large cost savings, a better carbon footprint and more sustainable production chain.
The energy consumption of drying processes has slightly been reduced by the introduction of new, innovative technologies, like air dehumidification by silica, better designed dryers and an increase in product knowledge.
However, drying equipment often has a long lifespan, so improvements using the existing processing line are essential. One way of reducing
the energy consumption with existing equipment is to increase the dry matter content of the feed of the spray dryer. Based on the experience
of NIZO, a combination of predictive models, product measurements and pilot scale testing is required to reach this goal.
Producing safe food in an ever more complex production chain. That is what Danone and NIZO Food Research had in mind when they developed a computer model for calculating the microbial safety of ingredients in advance.
Effectively regulating texture and stability
Both proteins and polysaccharides play an important part in the texture and stability of food products.
Only a thorough understanding of the interactions between proteins and polysaccharides will enable the effective regulation of texture and stability, adaption of aroma or taste release and improvement of mouthfeel.
Read the article in VMT (Dutch)
Flavour is one of the most important attributes of food quality and a lot of research in the food industry is focused on improving and diversifying the flavour of products.
Flavour compounds of biological origin, the so-called natural or bio-flavours, are attracting more and more interest as a natural, clean-label solution. Plants are an important source of new flavours and essential oils; however, this option has its limitations. It can be difficult to extract these compounds and be expensive (they may be present in low amounts, in bound form) or only found in exotic wild plants.
Another potential source is flavour synthesis or conversion of precursor-compounds by microorganisms. When this occurs in the product during fermentations, it is a highly attractive way to produce novel flavours.
The creaminess or astringency of new food products can be determined by measuring the sound that generated by the food interacting with the tongue during consumption. This new technology, developed by NIZO food reserach, records and analyses the sound of rubbing of the tongue against the food.
With this new technique the sensory effects of food innovations can be prodicted.
Read the article on EVMI.nl (in Dutch)