Emulsion; salt reduction; fat replacement; emulsification techniques; texture-taste interaction

Emulsions: tailor-made design and optimisation

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research provides manufacturers with product and process insights needed for designing tailor-made emulsions to meet the desired stability and functionality.

The presence of dispersed fat particles in emulsions like milk, yoghurt, cream, soups and mayonnaise creates a pleasant, creamy mouthfeel. Emulsions are also used to add colour or aroma to a product and to encapsulate ingredients. Creating the perfect emulsion is a challenge. A desired functionality might reduce stability and vice-versa. Creaminess, for example, is affected by the stability of the emulsion during oralprocessing: the worse this stability, the better the creaminess. When engineering light emulsions, knowledge about this relationship can be used to enhance the perception of the present fat, resulting in a product with the creaminess of the full-fat version. Another example includes encapsulation of bioactive ingredients, flavours and colours; here, successful application depends on the choice of the right emulsion droplet size and on techniques to obtain high encapsulation yields. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research provides food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers with the insights needed to create emulsions that precisely meet the desired stability and functionality.

Emulsion functionality

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has substantial knowledge about emulsions, their structure and functionality, emulsifiers and emulsification techniques. Together with our knowledge and expertise in theareas of food ingredients, food processing, oral processing and consumer research we are able to design advanced, tailor-made emulsions and provide innovative solutions to complex emulsion-stability issues. For example, by re-engineering the properties of emulsion droplets in dairy products we can substantially reduce fat and sugar levels without compromising sensory qualities – as confirmed by consumer panels.

Research on texture-taste interactions is conducted in house using the most modern equipment available. For example, together with the public-privatepartnership TI Food and Nutrition, we have used advanced articulography to monitor oral processing, including chewing and tongue movements, and relate this to sensory perception and appreciation.

Emulsion stability

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has supported different manufacturers to develop new types of emulsions and to solve emulsion-stability issues. Recently, we replaced fats and simplified recipes for a sauce supplier, without compromising the product’s sensory qualities. For another manufacturer, we showed the feasibility of the production of a creamy-alcoholic drink consisting of one colour that separates into two after pouring the drink into a glass.