The Next Step in Nutrition: Designing Healthier Food & Drink Products

Product developers are looking beyond salt, sugar and fat reduction, to consider other ways to improve the nutritional profile of their products. Foods that make you feel full for longer and low glycemic index (GI) products which can help maintain blood glucose levels are a particular area of interest. Dr Pretima Titoria from Leatherhead Food Research focuses on the role enzymes can play in improving the health benefits of existing products.

Frozen ready meals provide a useful alternative to cooking from ‘fresh’ for people with busy lifestyles. As with the ambient and fresh product categories, manufacturers of frozen products have responded to consumer demand for healthier options, resulting in more frozen foods that are lower in sugar, salt and saturated fat. In addition to this, quick freezing technologies can deliver frozen foods with improved nutritional value, as they are frozen before the nutrients have time to diminish.

The food and beverage industry is now taking their innovations one step further and focusing significant investment on the development of food and drink products with added health benefits linked to weight and nutrition management.

Enzymes are a particularly interesting ingredient for product developers in this context. Certain enzymes can make molecules bond together, creating new macromolecular structures and giving the foodstuff new functional properties. They have traditionally been used by the industry to alter the texture of foods, for example in ...

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