Spotlight on Innovations #2Published: 24-01-2014
Measuring the effect of eating vegetables
An innovative nutrigenomics approach has enabled TNO researchers for the first time to prove the subtle health effects of eating vegetables. The results of this research support the WHO recommended daily intake of 150 to 200 grams of vegetables. TNO tested the method by means of an intervention study of 30 men. They used sophisticated software for bio-informatics and network analysis to interpret the data. Based on current scientific theories, they were able to link molecular and classical biomarkers. The new approach allowed the researchers to prove the effect of vegetable consumption on human energy metabolism, inflammation processes and the degree of oxidative stress (the formation of harmful peroxides and free radicals) in the human body.
40% salt reduction using salt replacer
Suprasel OneGrain TS-M100 is a new salt replacer that blends and dissolves just like regular salt. AkzoNobel Salt Specialties and Givaudan, a flavor and fragrance company, developed a replacer that combines sodium, potassium chloride and flavor in a single grain. AkzoNobel’s OneGrain technology had helped to create an ingredient that tastes like salt and has the same processing and storage properties as regular salt. Product developers claim that the replacer paves the way for a 40% reduction of sodium in processed meat.
Practical innovations for pig farms
As part of the ‘Promising Innovations’ project, the Dutch Pig Innovation Center [Varkens Innovatie Centrum, VIC] is looking for and researching short-track innovations that can be introduced quickly on pig farms to improve working conditions and job satisfaction. This is the third such project in a row to test and develop promising innovations. First in line are easy-to-clean troughs for piglets in the farrowing stall and a train that can be mounted on the boxes in the insemination crate to facilitate insemination. The innovations undergo extensive testing and evaluation.
Testing the crispness of bakery products
Zeelandia, a Dutch manufacturer of bakery ingredients, has developed a new method to test the crispness of bakery products using texture analysis equipment. By measuring the acoustic energy released during Stable Micro System’s V-pinch test for bread, Zeelandia gets a detailed and objective analysis of the crust’s crispness. This allows the company to develop ingredients that enhance crispness in the crusts of products such as ciabatta and foccacia. A dry outer crust and a clear crunch when biting are important factors contributing to the experience of eating such breads.
Using yeast extract to reduce salt content
DSM’s latest salt reduction product is called Multirome ® LS. This yeast extract contains less salt and creates a rich, savory, umami taste. It can also be used as a flavor enhancer in a wide variety of end products, including snacks, soups, sauces and meat dishes. The ingredient is highly concentrated, so only a third of the regular yeast extract dose needs to be used. Yeast extracts are very suitable for lowering salt content in food products. Tests have shown that 60% of test subjects prefer low-salt tomato sauce flavored with DSM yeast extract over regular (salted) tomato sauce. The test subjects described the tomato sauce with Multirome® LS as less acidic, richer and more authentic tasting.
Stewing mushrooms in their own juice
Scelta Mushrooms believes traditional preservation methods are past their prime. The company has been researching sustainable alternatives. Traditionally, salt or acids are added to mushrooms to stabilize their color, taste and pH value. Scelta Mushrooms has developed a new method in which mushrooms are stewed in their own juice, using an Ecopouch®. The juice is 100% derived from mushrooms; no food additives are used. The method has many advantages, for instance less waste and less energy consumption during processing and transportation. The resulting sliced mushrooms taste fresh, retain their texture and have a long shelf-life. The juice has an intense mushroom taste and can be used in soups and sauces, so nothing is wasted.