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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13FP513 Teagasc €103,792

Project Title:

Development of high protein bars as vehicles for functional ingredient delivery.

Project Coordinator:

Dr Phil Kelly

Project Abstract

This FIRMplus proposal builds on the outcomes of an outgoing FIRM-funded project 'Water activity control and texture stabilisation of high protein snack bars'. The latter project highlighted the complexity underlying ingredient interactions in a highly concentrated environment and particularly how it impacts on textural change (hardening) during storage. The inclusion of hydrolysed proteins in the bar formulations was identified a means of slowing the development of hardening. Extensive profiling of these and a wide range of milk proteins provided significant insights into the possible mechanisms influencing hardness development. The project also demonstrated that sugar syrups used in bar formulations may be partially substituted using prebiotic mixtures such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) without any negative effect. FIRMplus, thus, provides a further opportunity to examine how probiotic bacteria would survive in the typical intermediate moisture matrix of these bars. In general, survival of probiotic cultures is impaired in dehydrated environments, such as milk powders, due to cell wall damage. However, intermediate moisture foods are regarded as microbially stable due to their controlled water activity (aw). The challenge in this instance is to establish whether a balance between survival i.e. culture maintenance with minimal cell loss and growth in the presence of prebiotics is likely. In any case, a synbiotic-enriched high protein bar formulation could be envisaged as a useful delivery system for such functional ingredients. Progress and outcomes of this work would be promoted to Irish dairy companies engaged in the manufacture and supply of customised ingredients to food companies engaged in such applications. IP generation following demonstration of synbiosis in an intermediate moisture food matrix during FIRMplus could be sub-licensed to Irish dairy ingredient suppliers who, in turn, could tailor product offerings that include a combination of ingredients and technical know-how. A registered symbol or trade mark will also be considered with the input of Teagasc TTO as a means by which the uniqueness of innovation may be exploited in the final product packaging

Final Report: