Thesis subject

Fat in foods – reducing the fat content by changing its distribution

Food items such as yoghurt, pudding or cheeses are part of the diet of numerous people. These, as well as many other products can be seen as emulsion-filled gels. Health and a healthy life-style are increasing in importance. This can be also seen in a rising demand for products low in fat. Fat reduced products however tend to deviate from their non-fat-reduced relatives in texture and sensory perception. In order to control the texture properties and the sensory perception of these foods, it is necessary to know why we perceive them the way we do. As a matter of fact, emulsion droplets and more generally particles which are included in a gel can strongly influence its texture and perception. Recent studies indicate that the spatial distribution of such droplets also effect both texture and perception. Furthermore, the way these droplets are connected might have a big impact.

In this project we will investigate how to engineer foods with a controlled distribution of droplets, and how this affects the mechanical properties of the system. We will use different proteins and polysaccharides to create a variety of liquid-like and solid like systems. We will use different routes to crosslink the fat-droplets. Potential ways to do so are cross-linking or heat-elicited aggregation  Once the inhomogeneity can be controlled, we will study the  impact of the difference in structure on sensory perception.

Philipp 1.JPG

Research topics

  • Develop a method to engineer the microstructure of different liquids/gels (droplet distribution) and investigate the mechanical properties
  • Sensory perception of liquids/ gels that differ in droplet distribution

Exemplary Techniques

  • Rheology (Texture Analyzer, Rheometer)
  • Microscopy (light microscopy, CSLM)
  • Sensory (QDA or Temporal Dominance of Sensations)

Study relevance

Students who think the “Food Ingredient Functionality”-course was/is really exciting and students who have a background or strong interest in food physics and/or sensory science are invited to contact me by writing a mail.

Philipp 2.JPG