Modern lifestyle is increasingly being associated with a nutritional crisis mainly due to the consumption of processed or ready-to-eat food. Especially in industrialised countries, it has been recognised that the majority of diseases are strongly linked to a high intake of sugar, fat and salt. The EU-funded PLEASURE (Novel processing approaches for the development of food products low in fat, salt and sugar) project addressed the challenges of producing foods low in fat, salt and sugar through technological innovations. Project partners developed methods for physical structuring to reduce fat and salt content. Various strategies for reducing salt, fat and sugar were considered as well as their impact on food processing, appearance and taste. Salt, fat and sugar reduction was studied by using pizza dough and puff pastry dough. The team achieved fat and salt reductions of 30 and 25 %, respectively, while maintaining the saltiness perception. New methods and recipes for the development of meat products with less salt were investigated and assessed. Results showed that salt content can be reduced by 30 % without significant changes in the colour and texture of salt-reduced sausage and cooked ham. Mozzarella-style cheese low in salt and fat for eating and use in pizza products was developed that matches available full fat and salt alternatives. A novel and cost-efficient technology platform for sugar reduction in fruit and vegetable products was also developed. A 30 % reduction in total sugar was achieved without major modifications to other fruit ingredients. PLEASURE succeeded in introducing innovative methods and applying novel technologies to develop and produce food products and especially ready-to-eat meals that are low in fat, salt and sugar. This should have great health implications for European consumers.
Fat, salt, sugar, nutrition, ready-to-eat food, food products