Food and Beverage

By quantifying sensory perception, we are aiding the development of healthier, lower cost foods with the same ‘mouth feel’ as market leading products.

‘Creamy’, ‘sugary’ and ‘slimy’ are all adjectives commonly used to describe foods during consumer panel testing. By linking these adjectives to physical, measurable properties of a sample, analysis can be performed to screen numerous new formulations without the expense and ambiguity of panel tests, saving companies both time and money.

Using our instruments, researchers have discovered that the frictional properties of our favourite foods are related to their fat and sugar content (i.e. the higher the fat content the lower the friction coefficient, hence the creamier the taste).

Food and Beverage industry research areas include:

  • Reduced fat dairy products such as yoghurt, cream, mayonnaise and chocolate.
  • Astringency of wine, green/black tea and fruit.
  • Carbonated vs non-carbonated beverages.
  • Reduced sugar content of beverages.
  • Mouthfeel of foods and its impact on enjoyment and satiation.

Food and Beverage Industry includes the following:

Beverage

Beverage

Not just the taste but also the feel of a drink will change how enjoyable it is to drink. This has been investigated for everything from wines to soft drinks.

Food

Food

A key aspect of enjoying food is its mouthfeel. Studies have looked at a range of food groups such as dairy foods and their creaminess, and the smoothness of baby foods.

Pet Care

Pet Care

Pet food isn't just for nutrition but can also serve to clean their teeth. Research into this field is ongoing, in what is a rapidly growing market.

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Food and Beverage Industry Articles & Papers

Paper

Influence of pH on Fluid Gels Produced from Egg and Whey Protein Isolate

Food producers are coming under increasing pressure to reduce fat content of foods. Fat forms a major structuring component in …

Food producers are coming under increasing pressure to reduce fat content of foods. Fat forms a major structuring component in many foods responsible for the desirable texture of foods which are rich in fats. Consumers want healthier foods whilst maintaining desirable sensory properties of these foods and using ‘natural’ ingredients. In this work we present suspensions of soft gelled protein particles produced by heating induced gelation in shear of proteins. We present egg white fluid gels and compare them with previously characterized WPI fluid gels. Understanding the effects of pH on proteins is important owing to the net charge influencing gelation and gel properties. Soft tribology and rheology were used to investigate textural properties of fluid gels produced and relate these to potential mouthfeel of these systems. Fluid Gels at the IEP were shown to produce aggregated particles of less than 1 μm diameter. These systems produced at the IEP demonstrated greater friction values in the mixed and boundary regimes of lubrication.

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Paper

Gels and Oil-in-Water Emulsions: a Stepwise, Rheology- and Tribology-Focused Approach

Gels and oil-in-water emulsions are widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and personal care applications. In the case of emulsions, they …

Gels and oil-in-water emulsions are widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and personal care applications. In the case of emulsions, they can be either stabilized by an amphiphilic molecule, forming classical emulsions, or by colloidal particles, forming a Pickering emulsion. These systems exhibit rich rheological and frictional characteristics and factors such as component concentration and/or interactions can affect their final properties. Thus, their characterization is fundamental to understanding their performance from product development to final use. This dissertation provides insights on how to manipulate properties of multicomponent gels and emulsions based on their components, guiding the formulation of products with desired rheological and lubrication properties. For that, we focus on two groups of systems: 1) classical oil-in-water emulsions containing microgel-forming polymers and phospholipids as well as several simplified versions of these systems, and 2) Pickering emulsions stabilized by nanodiamond particles.

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