Most developed countries are confronted with rising obesity levels due to diets that contain saturated fat, simple sugars and excessive amounts of salt. Studies have estimated that 850 000 lives could be saved every year if people reduced their salt intake to 5 g per day. The EU-funded TERIFIQ (Combining technologies to achieve significant binary reductions in sodium, fat and sugar content in everyday foods whilst optimising their nutritional quality) initiative set out to reduce sodium, sugar and fat levels in cheese, meat, cakes and other processed foods. The researchers thus worked to fine-tune current food formulations using realistic food models. TERIFIQ engineered the parameters of realistic food models specific to each of the food products. The researchers also studied the micro- as well as macrostructures of the new food materials. Project researchers conducted tests to ensure that the new food being developed was acceptable to consumers. They tested the nutritional value of the new food products against their original counterparts. The team found that the binary reduction approach (sodium/fat and sugar/fat) was the best way to reduce sodium, fat and sugar content in foods. TERIFIQ also found that they were able to reduce large quantities of sodium, fat and sugar and still maintain good consumer acceptability. The researchers anticipate that these findings will be incorporated into new food processes and lead to improved health outcomes.
Sugar, fat, salt, obesity, flavour, TERIFIQ, binary reductions, food products