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EP/J501670/1 - Reduced-Salt Emulsion Technologies (Re-SET)

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Professor IT Norton EP/J501670/1 - Reduced-Salt Emulsion Technologies (Re-SET)

Principal Investigator - Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham

Other Investigators

Dr F Spyropoulos, Co InvestigatorDr F Spyropoulos

Scheme

Technology Programme

Research Areas

Other Other

Start Date

06/2012

End Date

12/2014

Value

£251,155

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

Increased salt intake has been linked to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and stroke [1], with both illnesses placing a
huge burden on health services and lowering life quality. The British Heart Foundation estimated that UK health care costs
for both CVD and stokes to be >£17bn (2006). Low salt foods and snacks can help ease this strain, however consumers
still expect a pleasurable eating experience. This requires formulation of food products of "invisibly" reduced salt, similar in
taste and "convenience" to their full-salt counterparts. Reducing the size of salt crystals (<25 microns) added to food has
been attempted but unfortunately provides an unwanted saltiness "burst". Reduced-salt healthy foods and snacks based on
shell technologies could overcome this as these shell-stabilised emulsion constructs can be used to modulate salt release
and thus salt perception/"saltiness" [2].
Nonetheless uses of such structuring technologies in dry (semi-dry) foods are absent due to serious processing and
stability issues; (a) Processing issues: due to the fragile nature of shell interfaces, such structures are difficult to process.
Further innovation is required to be able to apply these delicate structures onto the food surface. (b) Stability issues:
emulsions containing salt are subject to large osmotic pressure and chemical potential differences which tend to destabilise
these structures. Adding these salt-containing emulsions into/onto dry foods accelerates the destabilisation process.
Evidence from research at the University of Birmingham suggests that stable osmotic separation with triglyceride shells is
possible [2] and these shells can be constructed to melt at different temperatures and rates, thus giving potential to
modulate salt perception at much lower salt concentrations. This project will deliver both the formulation design rules and
processing routes in order to manufacture shell-stabilised water-in-oil emulsions for the development of salt-redued
healthy snack foods. The proposed project programme is carefully designed to quickly recognise potential shell-stabilised
emulsion "technologies" for use in prototype manufacture, to scale-up the processes to produce these and finally to
sensorially evaluate the manufactured prototypes and establish whether they can deliver acceptable salt-reduced snack
food products.
The project team provides a unique and synergistic offering which will catalyse different thinking, approaches and pave
the way for innovation, through understanding of surface chemistries, advances in process and formulation engineering,
measurement and characterisation. The proposed research program involves the University of Birmingham (UoB) and
PepsiCo. The technology developed and understanding gained from this collaboration will enable many new applications
and foods to reach the market, with IPR from this project also expected to be commercially innovative.
[1] Strazzullo et al. BMJ 2009; 339:b4567;
[2] Frasch-Melnik et al., 2010. J Food Eng. 98: 437.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Reduced-Salt Emulsion Technologies (Re-SET) - EP/J501670/1
Start Date: 2012-06-18T00:00:00+02:00
End Date: 2014-12-17T00:00:00+01:00

Organization: University of Birmingham

Description: Increased salt intake has been linked to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and stroke [1], with both illnesses placing a huge burden on health services and lowering life quality. The British Heart Foundation estimated that UK health care costs for both CVD a ...