Functionality and structure

Proteins are important constituents of a food recipe, as one of their features is to provide consumer products with important positive sensory properties, such as creaminess, foams, taste and colour. In our research we try to understand the relationships between technical functionalities of proteins and external factors such as processing conditions and matrix interactions. A deeper insight in these relationships enables companies to exchange one source of protein for another in their recipes (i.e. given price developments, consumer demands) and understanding potential constraints.

A particular field of interest is to find ways to increase protein concentration in recipes, e.g. for elderly people at risk of malnutrition and for athletes. It is quite a challenge to develop such high protein products, without compromising too much on sensory attributes.