The food industry is challenged to develop healthier food concepts, usually using a reformulation by gradually reducing the salt and sugar content. But this is not enough to achieve the reductions needed.
To reach such goal, Wageningen experts* and Royal Peijnenburg, gingerbread maker since 1883, jointly developed a tool that uses the molecular properties of different sugar and sweetener ingredients to predict the essential quality features of bakery products. This tool is instrumental to product developers who first define specific requirements with respect to quality and composition, enabling more precise product development and significantly speeding up the innovation cycle. Such effective guidelines enable to make great tasting cakes without any sugar added.
Understanding the Links Between Sugar and Food Quality
To create a generic tool, Wageningen experts and Peijnenburg realised that more basic knowledge was needed to better predict the quality changes that result from reformulating cakes’ composition. Using the full scope of a 3-year Public Private Partnership, we developed a patented physical model that uses the molecular properties of different sugar and sweetener ingredients to predict the essential quality parameters of bakery products. The model was also converted into a practical tool that calculates proto-recipes on the basis of desired composition and quality. This tool is instrumental to product developers who first define specific requirements with respect to quality and composition.
The Healthiest Snack
With such tool, Royal Peijnenburg could develop a recipe for a good quality cake with no added sugar and 20% less calories. Selected as the healthiest snack in January 2016 by the Dutch consumer organisation, it is now regularly used by a large client base.
* The former project leader, the Functional Ingredients research group of TNO, became part of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research on 1 January 2018.