Texture formation and stability

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps food manufactures with knowledge and practical solutions to form and stabilise food textures and structures at every level from molecular to product.

Stabilising the texture is important to reach the desired product quality. Beverages, for example, need little or no texture; here, aggregation between molecules like proteins should be suppressed. With gels, such as yoghurts and puddings, aggregation is needed to create their more-pronounced textures. Meat replacers go a step further, needing specific textures and fibres.

Creating and maintaining the perfect texture means managing many different factors such as recipes, processing, storage and transport conditions, and texture-taste interactions. This is a real challenge in case of fat and salt reduction, protein enrichment or shelf-life extension. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research gives food manufacturers the knowledge and information needed to develop the food textures the market demands. Following an integral approach, investigating textures at different levels – from molecule to ingredient to product – we span the whole production chain, from raw material to consumer.

Food Texture

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research offers a unique combination of knowledge and research facilities. Our expertise ranges from food chemistry and physics to the latest protein ‘substitutes’, food processing and consumer research. Working closely together with expert colleagues at Wageningen University & Research we develop hands-on solutions that really work, using the latest scientific findings.

Alongside rheometers and texture analysers we have state-of-the-art equipment that allows examination of every facet of food texture. Recently, we opened a unique XRT (X-Ray Tomography) facility that reveals, in 3-D, every detail of a food’s structure without having to cut into it. With our innovative shear-cell technology we can create fibrous meat-replacers that give a mouth-feel almost identical to that of real meat.

Texture optimisation

Client-driven projects to develop and optimise product textures include:

  • a 30+ goat cheese with similar taste and texture to full-fat goat cheese

  • thin, high-protein beverages with long shelf lives, created by optimising recipe and sterilisation conditions

  • fibrous meat replacers via extrusion and shear-cell technology.

Another example is our partnership with TI Food and Nutrition in which we are studying how proteins affect the formation and stability of foams in aerated food products, including whipped cream, cappuccino foams and bread. Together with experts from Wageningen University & Research and 15 industrial partners, we are involved in a five-year research programme investigating the relationship of proteins to nutritional value and gut health. In the programme we also focus on the development of (high) protein foods with good texture for target groups such as the elderly and athletes.