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Quality and value: research programme

Functionality of novel ingredients from natural sources

Campden BRI project 144034 (Jan 2018 – Dec 2020)
Member funded

Many functions in processed foods are performed by chemically synthesised materials However, there are numerous cereals and plants that are known to contain elevated levels of active components that may well show specific functionality in the processing of foods. Applications could include foaming, emulsifying, rheology modifiers and waterbinding agents. This project will assess the performance of selected food ingredients. Potential functions of interest will be examined in the processing of specific products and evaluated against existing additives with similar functional properties, providing practical information on the functionality and application to food systems of the most promising natural materials.

Dr Sarab Sahi
+44(0)1386 842140

Novel natural preservative systems for use in drinks, sauces and other high aw foods

Campden BRI project 144033 (Jan 2018 – Dec 2020)
Member funded

The food and drinks industry is under pressure to use clean label preservatives as an alternative to traditional preservatives. At present very few effective natural preservatives are permitted for use. In addition, many manufacturers of products currently stabilised by high levels of thermal processing are looking for natural preservation systems that will reduce energy costs, avoid flavour deterioration, help maintain heat labile nutrients, and permit a wider range of packaging options. This project will practically assess potential novel preservatives to understand efficacy and whether other processing steps are needed to ensure their effectiveness in extending shelf-life. This project will also produce a toolbox of natural preservatives for clean labelling.

Greg Rachon
+44(0)1737 824298

Design and modelling of the impact of food structure on food texture

Campden BRI project 144032 (Jan 2018 – Dec 2020)
Member funded

Texture is an important sensory characteristic of many food products. Developing or reformulating products typically requires production and evaluation of many process and recipe variations to identify those that have the required structure and texture. This can be time consuming, involving use of costly pilot production facilities and sensory panels. This project will develop an improved capability to design products with the required texture by modelling the effects of differences in structure, and understand how process conditions can be used to create the required structure for a range of product types. It will demonstrate these capabilities through case studies, evaluate the effect of reformulation on texture and establish computer modelling facilities and expertise.

Martin Whitworth
+44(0)1386 842139

Microbiological shelf life testing – new approaches

Campden BRI project 144031 (Jan 2018 – Dec 2020)
Member funded

Establishing an accurate shelf life is key to a product’s success. The shelf life should be sufficient to allow the product to be economically viable and minimise waste whilst maintaining key sensory, chemical and microbiological characteristics. It is therefore vital that the correct procedure is used when assessing shelf life. This project aims to reconsider the methods and procedures used to define microbiological shelf life (through setting up working groups comprising of members from producers, retailers and, potentially, government bodies), conduct practical studies to define the best practice approaches and recommendations, and then to update Campden BRI’s guideline no.46 on the evaluation of product shelf life for chilled foods.

Linda Everis
+44(0)1386 842063

Inactivation of bacterial biofilms – new approaches

Campden BRI project 144030 (Jan 2018 – Dec 2020)
Member funded

Bacterial biofilms pose a constant threat to the quality of a wide variety of foods. Organisms existing in a biofilm state are able to resist a number of microbiological measures to a greater degree than planktonic cells, leading to persistent challenge to cleaning and CIP systems. The aim of this project is to define the resistance of key spoilage organisms in their biofilm state in order to establish and optimise procedures for decontamination and / or removal of biofilms in food industry settings.

Robert Limburn
+44(0)1386 842493

Innovatively improving the food safety and quality of sprouted grain bakery products

Campden BRI Project 142872
Funded by Innovate UK

Everfresh is a market leader in the emerging market for long-life sprouted grain bread and cakes. In the proposed project, it will work with its consortium of industry and research partners to develop an industry-leading approach for the production of sprouted grain bakery products.

Gary Tucker
+44(0)1386 8420335

Extraction and purification of calystegines and iminosugars for use as natural preservatives

Campden BRI Project 142870
Funded by Innovate UK

Natural food preservatives to extend the shelf life of processed foods are increasingly important in the provision of food safety in sugar and salt limited recipes. Calystegines and iminosugars are valuable compounds which have been shown to provide a natural preservative function in chilled foods. These occur naturally in the Solanaceae family, which includes potatoes, and offer a new source of natural preservatives.

Gary Tucker
+44(0)1386 8420335

Feasibility of a novel food preservation system

Campden BRI project 142817
Funded by Innovate UK

Modern Baker is a rapidly growing UK food manufacturer and retailer specialising in longfermented and baked foods. Its ambition is to disrupt the baking industry and to redefine the market. The proposed project seeks to use cutting edge food science to naturally improve product shelf life.

Mike Adams
+44(0)1386 842284

Thermal processing of bakery products in baby and children's food

Campden BRI project 142715
Funded by Innovate UK

Pipkin and Moo is a new baby food business looking to revolutionise the baby food industry with an exciting and innovative new product range. The proposed project seeks to harness recent technological advances to drive product development and accelerate Pipkin and Moo’s market entry.

Mike Adams
+44(0)1386 842284

“Shelf–Life Plus”: enhanced shelf–life evaluation using microbial profiling

Campden BRI Project 140910 (Jan 2017 – Dec 2019)
Member funded

All foods in the retail sector need to have a date of durability to mark the end of their shelf–life – the point at which levels of microorganisms, or biochemical and sensory markers meet predetermined targets. For microbiological shelf–life, these targets are limited to a few select species or groups of microorganisms that are listed in microbiological criteria and are organisms for which there are established agar based methods. However, other, less easy to detect but potentially important microbial groups which may have a large impact on the consumer acceptability characteristics of a food will never be observed. Microbiological shelf–life of products is currently determined by culture methods which introduce bias through culture medium selectivity and the organisms that can be targeted. Modern molecular methods (e.g. gene sequencing) could provide a more holistic approach to profiling microbial populations, and so more meaningful shelf–life determinations.

Dr Greg Jones
+44(0)1386 842143

Quality and safety of cereal–based products and ingredients for the food and brewing industry

Campden BRI Project 140909 (Jan 2017 – Dec 2019)
Member funded

The quality and safety of cereal–based raw materials, ingredients and products is crucial to the cereal, baking and brewing sectors as well as many others. Analytical methods are a critical component of assuring quality and safety, and their development, trialling, standardisation and validation is a vital part of this. Cereals such as barley, oats and wheat are used in a wide range of products. They may be processed into the main ingredient (e.g. as malt, flour) in products such as beer, breads, biscuits, tortillas and many others or as a more minor ingredient in products such as soups, drinks, batter, and crumb coated foods. The quality and safety of cereals is of great importance to the relevant supply chains in particular since some of the cereal quality parameters have a direct influence on functionality and processing. This project will evaluate and make available a range of core analytical methods for cereals–based materials.

Clothilde Baker
+44(0)1386 842287

Process manufacturing of functional food particles from lignin–rich feed

Campden BRI Project 140673 (Aug 2016 – Jul 2019)
BBSRC Studentship at the University of Nottingham

By–products of various manufacturing processes are a wide–scale problem facing the food sector. Lignin as a material is a major constituent of plant cell walls and previous research at the University of Nottingham has highlighted the role of lignin as a surface active constituent to stabilise food emulsions and foams. This research will investigate process–based modification of lignin–rich feed material into functional food particles through the use of thermal processing and microwave processing as key modification processes. Different lignin–rich waste materials will be utilised and the impact of the process parameters linked with the material on the functionality of the product will be quantified for use as an emulsifier.

Andrew Bosman
+44(0)1386 842471

Developing an understanding and improved sensory quality of low alcohol beer

Campden BRI project 140573
Studentship at the University of Nottingham

This project aims to create the framework of knowledge that might enable the production of a 5% beer and 0.1% beer in which consumers cannot perceive a difference. This will be done through gaining an understand drivers of liking and disliking for consumers in terms of low/non-alcoholic beer; explaining the consequence of dialysis for dealcoholisation on the chemical profile (aroma and taste) of low alcohol beer/ alcohol free beer; correlating changes in flavour compounds with changes in sensory properties developing an understanding of the temporal changes in sensory perception of dialysis based low alcohol/ alcohol free beer and; correlating temporal changes in sensory perception with aroma and taste compound delivery kinetics in-mouth. The project will also seek to understand consumer’s emotions and perceptions of low/non-alcoholic beer. The outcome of this project will be the proposal of routes to optimise 0.1% beer, and increase parity of 0.1% beer to 5% beer.

Javier Gomez-Lopez
+44(0)1737 824276

SweetVeg: Improving the yield of sweet corn and tomatoes: compliance with food manufacturers’ requirements through the application of precision agriculture

Campden BRI Hungary Project (Aug 2016 – Jul 2018)
Funded by EUREKA

Sweet corn and tomato are important vegetable crops, in Hungary and Portugal respectively, for the freezing and canning industry. The global competitiveness of the products could be increased by improving product yield and sensory characteristics, and reducing raw material product defects. These are significantly influenced by soil parameters (moisture, nutrient availability, and micro and macro elements). SweetVeg will develop a sensor system which will monitor the above mentioned attributes along with crop development. Data collected from 3 years of cultivation will be used to set up models for different varieties of sweet corn to optimise supply of soil moisture/irrigation, nutrients, trace elements and other parameters necessary to produce sweet corn that meets the requirements of vegetable processor specifications on sensory properties and product defects.

Attila Berczeli

Low protein wheat

Campden BRI project 139362
Funded by BBSRC

This project will facilitate the development of new types of wheat, with good breadmaking properties, at low grain protein (with fertilisation at the level required for the optimum yield). The project will also develop the use of selected current cultivars at lower protein contents than are currently required. This will be achieved by evaluating the performance of wheat lines selected for dough strength and stability at low protein content, developing new methods to determine quality at lower grain protein contents, establishing genetic markers for breeding for ‘low protein’ breadmaking wheat and providing new material to millers and bakers to enable them to optimise their processing conditions.

Clothilde Baker
+44(0)1386 842287

Extension of product shelf–life through super chilling

Campden BRI Project 138069 (Jan 2016 – Dec 2018)
Member funded

The term ‘superchill’ is used to define the temperature at which a product starts to freeze, generally around –2°C. At this temperature, some of the product is ice and some contains liquid water. This partial freezing dramatically reduces the rate of appearance of microbiological and chemical spoilage defects, and allows a long shelf life to be achieved compared to the conventionally chilled product (>3°C to 8°C). The main findings from a DEFRA – LINK funded research project into storage of food at ‘superchill’ temperatures were that some foods can be stored at approximately –2°C for an extended period of time before being released into the chill chain, with minimal impact on either microbiological or sensory shelf life. The range of products to be tested in this project is based on those that indicated the greatest extension of shelf life in the DEFRA project, but extending that range to give manufacturers/retailers clear evidence of products that would gain most benefit from use of superchilling, and what that benefit would be in terms of life extension The project will also examine the use of superchilling as a single hurdle in a multiple hurdles system, in order to establish if longer life extensions could be obtained within such systems.

Dr Greg Jones
+44(0)1386 842143

Emerging ingredients – considerations for use in products

Campden BRI Project 138058 (Jan 2016 – Dec 2018)
Member funded

For the food and drink industry to remain innovative and competitive it is essential to be aware of emerging ingredients to allow market differentiation. In addition there is also a need to identify new solutions for delivering nutritious products that meet dietary needs or to reformulate to remove allergens (e.g. dairy or gluten free). However, as new ingredients emerge into the market, or enter from other sectors such as Asia and the US or from different product applications, there is a need for clear information on if and how they can be used in specific products. This project will address the industry need for anticipating and responding to regulatory and technical changes such as approval of new ingredients or approval for existing ingredients to be used in new categories. The overarching aim of this new project is to provide members with information on a wide range of ingredients emerging worldwide and provide information on their potential use. The project will consist of a mixture of desk–based work, analytical testing and practical trials (bench–scale development and small scale feasibility trials) to evaluate how ingredients perform within a range of systems.

Rachel Gwinn
+44(0)1386 842034

New technologies for food and drink manufacturing

Campden BRI Project 138057 (Jan 2016 – Dec 2018)
Member funded

The ‘New Technologies’ project has been running in various forms since 1990. The current project consists of a blend of desk based research to produce information bulletins, and practical ‘proof of principle’ evaluations of new technologies carried out with a view to identifying areas for more detailed research. The project will follow this similar structure with some modifications to the delivery of the content. The focus for the project for this funding period will be on emerging technologies for improving quality and value. Shelf life is not always determined by microbial growth so understanding the impacts that new technologies have on preserving important quality parameters is an important area. The feasibility studies selected for inclusion in the project have historically been medium to long term technologies in terms of commercial uptake. Such technologies will continue to feature in the programme, but there will also be a shift to include nearer market new technologies.

Dr Danny Bayliss
+44(0)1386 842130

To develop sustainable approaches to improve grain quality and help end users of soft wheat to mitigate challenges in downstream processing

Campden BRI project 136396
Funded by Innovate UK

Users of soft wheat have identified variation in quality to be a major root cause of challenges encountered in downstream processing. These challenges are currently managed reactively, and are exacerbated by a fundamental lack of understanding in terms of defining the principal quality characteristics of soft wheat for a given process. This project will address this challenge by identifying desirable quality characteristics, developing analytical tests to allow screening of soft wheat lines, and finally testing the stability of these characteristics in the context of variation according to growing environment and year. This will enable a new pipeline of quality soft wheat varieties in the UK, less reliance on wheat imports, and a reduction in downtime and use of processing aids in downstream manufacturing.

Joe McGurk
+44(0)1386 842241

In-pack ohmic food processing

Campden BRI project 136191 (Jan 2015 – Dec 2018)
Funded by Innovate UK

The principle objectives of the in-pack ohmic heating project are to confirm the effectiveness of pasteurising, using ohmic heating techniques, to achieve enhanced food quality and safety from this rapid, gentle heating technique, and to confirm that the concept would be capable of scale-up to an industrial context. This work is being done in collaboration with C-Tech Innovation.

Craig Leadley
+44(0)1386 842059