RESTRUCTURE: Developing and implementing innovative and evidence-based food design principles to moderate energy intake

RESTRUCTURE: Developing and implementing innovative and evidence-based food design principles to moderate energy intake






Landbouw, Water, Voedsel>D. Gewaardeerd, gezond en veilig voedsel>D2. De consument, duurzame en gezonde voeding in een groene leefomgeving






Overweight and obesity are among the most urgent nutrition related problems in the world affecting more than 2 billion people. Despite the good intentions of the Dutch prevention agreement on food reformulation, the RIVM (Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment) predicts that prevalence of overweight in the Netherlands will rise up to 60% in 2040. Recent advances have consistently shown that energy intake is predominantly determined by the energy density (kcal/g) and eating rate (g/min), which in turn depend on macronutrient composition and food structure and processing. This is a game-changer as it allows to make foods healthier through changes in structure and energy density, while maintaining palatability.

Doel van het project

This project perfectly addresses priority 26, because the main aim is to implement a breakthrough innovation in food design based on solid evidence-based knowledge (WP-1). The use of food texture to steer energy intake is not currently used by food industry, despite numerous opportunities (see annex 1). This way of restructuring foods goes beyond traditional product reformulations that reduce salt, sugar and saturated fat. This is a narrow focus with limited success rates to date and leads to suboptimal food appreciation
and shelf life issues. This project approaches food products more comprehensively and holistically rather than targeting separate ingredients. ‘Slower’ foods (i.e., foods with lower energy intake rate kcal/min) that satiate earlier will facilitate acceptance of smaller portions sizes, and reduce associated intakes of salt, sugar and energy. This is a path towards innovation that has a high chance for success. The effects of energy density and food structure on energy intake have been shown consistently, without impairments on palatability. These results create sensible alternatives for product innovation. Furthermore, various laboratories in the world have also been able to experimentally demonstrate the intermediary steps from food structure to ad libitum energy intake, i.e., instrumental rheological and mechanistic parameters, advanced sensory measures of time dependent sensory perception, and oral processing parameters like bite size, chewing behaviour and oral transit time and link this to the measures of energy intake (rate).

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

Binnen het Theory of Change Schema voor TKI-Agrifood-MMIP-D2 gaat het hier om “Goede keuzes aantrekkelijker maken (smaak, prijs, gemak, etc.)”, en “Gezondere samenstelling producten/maaltijd mbt macronutriënten, vezels, micronutriënten, portiegrootte (conform schijf van vijf)” Hierbij focust Restructure meer op de strctuur van voedingsmiddelen en minder op de samenstelling wat betreft nutriënten. Dit hangt verder samen met “(Her)formulering producten naar gezondere (en duurzamere) receptuur, afgestemd op voorkeur consument” (cf TKI-Agrifood omschrijving).

Geplande acties

RESTRUCTURE will deliver scientific evidence-based knowledge on how food processing and food texture influences energy intake (rate). Maximum impact will be reached by effective communication and dissemination to all relevant stakeholders (society, academia, industries). Food design tools and innovative business models for a healthier food environment will be created that can be implemented by product developers in food industries across the world.

Deliverable 1: Paper on ESPA, Espa study = first study with pasta, vegetables and sauce to assess effects of hardness of individual (interactions between) components on eating rate of meals
Deliverable 2: EUFIC Website on Restructure, social media expressions, and further communications/papers/lectures on project results
Deliverable 3: Paper on BOP study, predicting eating rate of bread out of sensorial and instrumental textural parameters
Deliverable 4: Paper on INTEX study, is study of the meals that will be used to prepare for the RCT.INTEX will test the contributions and interaction between various textures of meal components to understand their impact on eating rate and energy intake rate of meals
Deliverable 5: Paper on consumer perspective on food processing
Deliverable 6: Paper on predicting eating rate out of texture parameters, other modelling projects
Deliverable 7: Papers on restructure trial
Social Ethics Approval of ESPA Study, i.e. study on predicting eating rate out of meal components Realized Q3 2021
Social Ethics Approval of BOP Study, predicting eating rate of bread from textural parameters Realized Q3 2021
Approved communication plan and public appearance of Restructure Website Planned Q1 2022
Published paper on ESPA study Planned Q3 2022
Social Ethics approval of pilot studies (INTEX) on effect of meal components interactions on eating rate/satiation Planned Q2 2022
protocol RCT (WP2) study agreed by core team *WUR, HAS, EUFIC, TIFN), and Advisory Committee Planned Q4 2022
Protocol RCT (WP2) study approved by Steering Committee Planned Q4 2022
Protocol RCT (WP2) study published online and registered at Planned Q1 2023
METC approval for Restructure RCT Planned Q1 2023
Press release of RCT launch coordinated with EUFIC Planned Q1 2023
Published paper on INTEX study Planned Q1 2023
Published paper on bread modelling study Planned Q1 2023
Published paper on snacks modelling study Planned Q2 2023
Completion of Restructure RCT Planned Q3 2023
Papers on Restructure RCT Planned Q3 2024
Completion of PhD thesis Planned Q2 2025

Naam projectleider

Kees de Graaf