1.1 Inherently safe and healthy food products

The world is confronted with a large amount of food related issues. An alarming increase of overweight, obesity and food-related diseases coexist with malnourishment depending on the nutrition provided by available food products. Additionally, food consumption patterns are associated with a high environmental impact, such as decrease in biodiversity and climate change. Although these issues have been visible already for decades, the current type of products and consumption patterns of consumers are not drastically changed. Highlighting the importance of focusing on inherently sustainable healthy and safe products and making these types of products available. Although many consumers show an increased interest in healthy, safe, honest, and sustainable food, taste, convenience and price are also highly relevant. Possibly resulting in unhealthy dietary habits, which are automated and hard to break, especially in an obesogenic food environment with an excess of supply and temptations.


Especially tools, methods and strategies that can predict or efficiently study interactions in a food matrix and in combination with other food ingredients are of interest.

The outcome should lead to better understanding in how to deal with product formulations when specification of components has more deviations from the current standard of refined ingredients due to variation in sources and the minimal processing that may go hand in hand with variation in organoleptic or shelf-life properties.

The same applies for knowledge and production strategies for developing products, in which undesired factors (like saturated fat, sugars and/ or anti-nutritional factors) are removed or eliminated at the source (by breeding) or during processing or in which promoting factors are already increased early or added in the process in a natural way leading to natural healthy and safe products.

The introduction above describes the challenges for the food system that are needed to overcome for developing towards a healthy and sustainable food system. To address this, and to aim for tangible results, this project focuses on a specific food chain, that is the chain of deep-fried products.

Deep fried products are very much loved by consumers for their taste and texture. Examples are French fries, snacks, bakery products. These products are a regular part of the diet of most consumers. In addition to this, deep frying is also applied to new products, for example plant-based meat analogues. Although the taste is often very much appreciated by the consumer, there are also challenges that need to be overcome to fit these products in healthy and safe food systems. We can group these challenges in:

  • Health related challenges: high fat content
  • Safety challenges: acrylamide and other components formed during deep frying
  • Sustainability challenges: high energy consumption during deep frying, and use of large amounts of oils

Although there are solutions for the final frying step at restaurants or consumers, such as airfrying, there are no solutions to replace the industrial frying of these products.

This project will work multidisciplinary towards insights, a tool, and a proof-of principle that can lead to e.g. a PPP proposal to be submitted with partners across the entire chain.