PLEASURE will be the first European research project addressing the challenges involved with producing food low in fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids), salt and sugar from the processing side. The idea is to identify and further develop (novel) processes and processing technologies which on the one hand allow the reduction of the unwanted fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids), salt and sugar (mono- and disaccharides) but on the other avoid or at least reduce the use of replacers like sweeteners by achieving an optimised sensorial perception of the sugars, salts and fats present in the products to be developed.

The project work is divided into 9 Work Packages:

Work Package 1 will focus on the material and methods and SOPs which will be used during the project. This WP will also cover the establishment of the methodology to assess the release of salt and sugar during mastication and the set up the framework for sensorial tests to be performed during the project. Furthermore, the tools and the know-how which will allow for better understand the importance of the food structures on the saltiness and sweetness perception by an individual will be developed.

Work Package 2 aims at developing bakery products. two model systems will be established: pizza dough (PD) and laminated puffing pastry dough (LPP) as these systems show several similarities such as the fat content. Even if they slightly differ in salt and sugar content but they are both exposed to high shearing stress during the lamination process and are prone to sticking problems while processing.

Work Package 3 will deal with meat model. The final goal will be to achieve  an overall reduction of 10 to 15% of salt in meat products. To substitute fat in sausage batter the use of carbohydrates such as starch, pectin, guar as well as soluble and non-soluble fibres will be tested in this WP. To allow a salt reduction a combined approach of salt replacement and enhancing saltiness will be followed. To allow a reduction of fat content in cooked and raw sausages saturated, animal fats will be replaced by plant oils.

Work Package 4 will focus on cheese model based on mozzarella  low in sodium and fat for direct consumption as well as for the application in pizza products. Within this WP, the application high pressure homogenisation and enzyme technologies will be investigated in order to modulate taste & texture and to enhance flavour intensity in reduced sodium, and fat mozzarella-style cheese. The aim is to achieve a reduction of 30% in the contents of salt and fat to ~0.95 and 17% respectively.

Work Package 5 will focus on two model systems: (i) tomato sauce and (ii) fruit or cherry with the aim of obtaining natural and low sugar, salt and saturated and trans fat reduced sauces and fruit products preferably without the need of replacers and reducing the use of artificial ingredients (texturizers, emulsifiers, sweeteners, etc). The development will be first done on laboratory and then to a pilot plant scale.

Work Package 6 will cover the design of ready to eat meals with reduced salt, sugar and saturated fat; a pizza dough (high impact), a LPP with meat filling and a LPP with sweet filling will be considered. The general objective of this WP is a better understand of the contribution of each constituent of a RTE meal on the organoleptic score and on the global saltiness and sweetness perception with the objective of reducing the global salt and sugar content while preserving an acceptable overall sensory perception (comparison to a reference product).

Work Package 7 will gather the demonstration activities. Selected food systems or single foods will be presented to naive consumers to validate the solutions developed during the project. Batches of selected individual food categories will be delivered for testing by non trained consumers. The tests will be performed in the corresponding countries of the participating beneficiaries to cover different behavior with respect to saltiness and sweetness perception.

Work Package 8 will deal with the dissemination of the Pleasure results.

Work Package 9 will be related to the management of the consortium to ensure a smooth implementation of project in order to achieve its goals. A successful Pleasure Project will result in innovative processes for the development and production of food products with low content of fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids), salt and sugar.

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