Combining Technologies to achieve significant binary Reductions in Sodium, Fat and Sugar content in everyday foods whilst optimizing their nutritional Quality


Eating habits .....

Most developed countries are confronted with a rising rate of obesity mainly due to bad eating habits, in particular, of non well-balanced diet containing fat and low-size sugars. Moreover, this pathology is difficult to reverse.

In many European countries, an excessive consumption of salt is also a problem as it is at the origin of cardiovascular risks and hypertension (EFSA, 2010c). Previous studies across countries with high  incidences of strokes and cardiovascular disease have estimated that around 850,000 lives could be saved every year if people reduced their salt intake to 5g a day. Currently in Europe people's daily salt intake is estimated to be far higher almost 10g a day (WHO, 2007).

Globally, pathologies including diabetes, cancers and osteoporosis have been linked to low quality nutrition, and these pathologies are very costly for society not to mention the impact on the quality of life of citizens concerned. In response to this situation the food industry is making an effort to integrate these nutritional criteria in the formulation of food products. Consequently, the new designed products should aim to higher increase levels of nutritional quality by rationalising the use of the targeted ingredients. However, it should be taken into account that some nutrients which are included in the food target components are recognized to have an important nutritional action.

For example, sea salt is an important source of iodide and fluoride in the human diet (Szybinski et al., 2010), milk fat is an important vector for vitamins A and D. Moreover, some milk fat components such as phospholipids of the fat globule membrane and conjugated linoleic acids are recognized for their anticarcinogenic effect (Dewettinck, Rombaut, Thienpont, Messens & van Camp, 2008; Spitsberg, 2005). Phospholipids have also a preservative effect at the hepatic and cardiovascular levels (Wat et al., 2009). Saturated fats are a precursor for cholesterol. The level of their intake is positively associated with serum cholesterol level. Major sources of saturated fat are animal foodbased products such as dairy and meat products. Recently, dietary fat of animal origin was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk. Unsaturated fats are predominantly found in plant products but also in fish with DHA (Docosahexenoic acid, Omega 3 series) which is a major fatty acid in phospholipids and plays a role in combating heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression...

In a general manner, the replacement of food high in saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat rich foods reduces the total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (EFSA, 2010b). Thus, the reformulation of foods should be reasoned.

Concerning sugars consumption, the frequent consumption of food high in sugar increases the risk of tooth decay. Links between high intakes of sugar in form of sugar sweetened beverages or and weight gain are evidenced. Concerning solid foods, compared to the high intake of starch, to weight gain appeared inconsistent. Moreover, it was suspected that addiction plays a role in eating disorder and obesity but, up to date, no human study supports that hypothesis (Benton, 2010; EFSA, 2010a).


TeRiFiQ Final Conference, 27th October 2015 at Milan EXPO, Italy. Presentations are online

Project results in a nutshell: TeRiFiQ Infosheets, available in English and many other languages

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme
for research, technological development and demonstration