Food structure and satiety
Ongoing member–funded work is helping industry to develop products that assist in weight management. It is exploring the manipulation of food structure and protein content to modify consumer perceptions of, and satiety responses to, energy reduced products.
Obesity, and its associated metabolic complications, is an ongoing public health issue. It is accepted that there is no single solution to lowering obesity rates; however, suggested actions include use of satiety enhancers, development of lower calorie options and reformulation to decrease energy density.
We have assessed the utility of alginate gel micro-beads to increase the porosity of dried wheat pasta – an energy-dense food that is widely consumed. Generating structural porosity is amongst the most promising approaches to increase satiety. The hypothesis is that the alginate beads would dehydrate during airdrying, resulting in evenly–sized, air–filled pores. The beads, produced by air jet spray atomisation, showed promise in increasing the porosity of dried wheat pasta.
More recently, we have looked at incorporating unripe banana flour into products. A number of studies have shown that this flour suppresses hunger, and we successfully incorporated it to produce highly acceptable cookies with caramel and banana flavours.
Contact: Fraser Courts