More than 60% of all reported diseases in modern industrial countries are said to have their origin from malnutrition (low vitamin intake, high caloric food (fat and sugar)). As an important cause of this the high consumption of fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids, salt (sodium) and sugar (mono- and disaccharides) has been identified. With the change of society, the consumer’s pattern towards food consumption has and is changing dramatically. While less and less people prepare their meal at home, the increase of TV cooking shows demonstrates the opposite (European paradox). The trend towards processed and convenience food is a challenge for the food industry and those products have to be of high quality and safety at low price. Fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids), salt and sugar fulfill important functions in food manufacturing as well as in the human metabolism. But meanwhile in the industrial countries their excessive consumption can lead to health problems as stated earlier.
Saltiness and sweetness perception are strong markers of the sensorial attributes of food. In the past years there have been many attempts made – both by industry and by science to overcome the problem with only limited or no success. All approaches known where either based on nutritional recommendations (like e.g. “low carb”) or based on substitutes like e.g. sweeteners.
The use of replacers to reduce the salt (NaCl), sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) and fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids) content has been very attractive for the food industry as it is an approach which requires only low cost in terms investments (no equipment needed) and ingredients. However, most of the approaches felt due to lack of consumer acceptance due to a different taste perception of the products. The PLEASURE project will be the first project addressing this challenge from the processing side.