With a growing global population, food consumption will exceed from that of today. Since raw materials, energy and water are becoming scarcer, we need to adapt to more sustainable sources and production methods for our food. These methods may lie in using other food sources such as plant proteins instead of animal proteins and in using milder processing routes. The latter may include fewer purification steps, in turn implying the use of more complex mixtures as an ingredient, as opposed to first purifying these complex mixtures and then mixing them in the right proportions. In these adaptations we have to safeguard product quality, i.e. the sum of structure, mechanical (including rheological) properties, texture, taste, smell, safety, and nutritional value. All this requires a detailed knowledge on how the nature of a sustainable source and sustainable processing methods affect ingredient composition, and how the consequent compositional complexity affects final product quality.
In the current project we will investigate to what extent more sustainable ingredient sources and processes can be used to manufacture products with desirable structural and mechanical properties.
The strategy is twofold. One is to start with mildly purified plant extracts, investigate bulk and interfacial properties for specific product types and explore the effects of further purification of the ingredients towards less complex composition. The other is to start with mixtures of well purified ingredients form the same plant source, investigate the same bulk and interfacial properties and explore the effects of mixing of the ingredients towards more complex composition. For both strategies, plant based protein mixtures are also mixed with dairy proteins to get insights in the effect of replacement of animal by plant protein on food product structural and mechanical properties.
In particular we aim a) to understand the conditions to produce products with desirable structural and mechanical properties from more sustainable ingredient sources, b) to quantify sustainability effects of source and processing methods for a set of sources and processes and c) to formulate main lever rules that relate the properties of sustainable produced complex ingredient mixtures for a given source to desired product properties like structure and mechanical properties on all relevant length scales. This will add to a more climate neatral food industry using more sustainable sources.
The project fits well and is needed in MMIP because it deals with the development of design rules, knowledge and expertise to manufacture foods in a more sustainable way, by using e.g. more sustainable plant proteins instead of animal proteins or using less pre-processing and ingredient purification, while simultaneously optimizing food properties, which includes structural and mechanical aspects. This will contribute to human health, well-being, and sustainability.
In this project we investigate the effects of more sustainable sourced materials and more sustainable process operations on food ingredient composition, and the consequences for the structural and mechanical properties of multiphase food products (emulsions/foams/filled gels). We identify the key objective as:
• To investigate to what extent more sustainable ingredient sources and processes can be used to manufacture products with desirable structural and mechanical properties.
Hereto we distinguish the following project objectives:
• Understand the conditions to produce products with desirable structural and mechanical properties from more sustainable ingredient sources.
• To quantify sustainability effects of source and processing methods for a set of sources and processes.
To formulate main lever rules that relate the properties of sustainable produced complex ingredient mixtures for a given source, to desired product properties like structure and rheological and mechanical properties on all length scales relevant to the product.