Our work

Extending the shelf life of multi-texture products

TNO helps to create optimal food components, achieving longer shelf life and less moisture migration. The sensory appeal of multi-texture food products is associated with high quality and freshness. But undesired moisture migration causes dry and crispy components to become tough or soggy, and soft and moist components to become hard and dry. Moisture migration causes a rapid loss of the properties that make the contrasting textures so appealing.

Multi-texture-products can be classified into two categories (i) homogeneous products and (ii) multi-component products. The homogeneous multi-texture products are those consisting of a single bulk component that, via processing, differentiates into contrasting textures (e.g. bread and French fries). After baking or frying, the core remains soft and moist while the outer layer becomes crispy. Multi-component products are made of several components, which differ in texture and formulation and are assembled during processing. This applies to filled snacks (sweet and savoury), filled pastry or confectionary and dairy with inclusions. TNO can extend the shelf life of both homogenous and multi-component products. Our knowledge, expertise and modelling facilities ensure the optimal outcomes.

Applied solutions

TNO extends the shelf-stability of foods through: (i) Reduction in the aw difference between components (ii) Texture and structure design (iii) Modulation of water diffusivity (iv) Development of edible moisture barriers.
TNO's unique platform studies moisture migration and textural changes simultaneously. We apply a highly effective method for developing moisture barriers.

Barrier concepts are formulated through ingredients determined by product requirements and TNO's knowledge and theoretical models.
Our specialists translate the commercial product to a high-throughput screening food application model that provides quantitative information on water migration kinetics.
This information is used in TNO's unique predictive model, which accurately predicts the shelf-stability of coated and uncoated products.
After optimisation, barrier concepts are validated to show their efficacy in the real product.

Texture-structure design

The desired texture of a component can be better retained when the structure and composition are specifically designed for application. For example, TNO designed cake particles that maintain their characteristic texture in a dairy liquid for up to 21 days. The results were achieved by the specific design, formulation and structure of the cake particles. Prolonging crispiness in homogeneous products is a highly challenging task. TNO has successfully used a texture design approach to develop tempura batters whose composition and post-frying structure ensures crispiness after microwave re-heating. A TNO research project demonstrated that crispiness of bread crust can be enhanced / prolonged by increasing the moisture permeability of the crust, without compromising on crumb softness. A number of processing tools have been successfully studied to achieve optimal crust permeability. This principle is currently applied to various foods.

Joost Blankestijn

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Joost Blankestijn

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