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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13FP440 Teagasc €84,449

Project Title:

Nano-engineered dairy-based beverages with enhanced creaminess

Project Coordinator:

Dr Mark Auty

Project Abstract

There is a market for reduced-fat food products promoting health, specifically those that tackle obesity and its related health issues such as cardiovascular disease. However, consumers also want products that taste as good as their full-fat counterparts and reducing fat whilst maintaining positive sensory attributes such as creaminess is a technological challenge. This project builds on recently completed FIRM-funded research, which showed that significant creaminess can be imparted to low fat dairy-based foods through a high dynamic pressure process called microfluidization. The scientific basis of this enhanced creaminess was the creation of unique fat-protein complexes at the nanoand micro-scales. This project will develop microfluidization as a process tool to produce creamier low-fat milks and milk-pectin premixes for incorporation into smoothie-type beverage products. The feasibility of exploiting pectin-rich fruit wastes from the indigenous food industry will also be investigated. These waste products include apple and orange fruit pulps and are rich in pectin, a natural soluble dietary fibre as well as other vegetable wastes. Pectin-rich food wastes will be microfluidized separately and together with the milks to investigate possible synergistic effects on product viscosity, stability and sensory perception. Fruit smoothies made of these two primary ingredients will be formulated, up-scaled to pilot plant and validated for taste and texture using a commercial consumer acceptance panel (n > 100). Taste comparisons with market leading competitor products will be done and data statistically analysed to confirm consumer acceptability and preference. The overall objective will be to produce a range of low fat fruit smoothies with enhanced creaminess and shelf stability.

Final Report: