spacer.gif Newsletter 02
December 2013

Welcome to PLEASURE

The PLEASURE project comes as a response to the need of finding solutions to overcome malnutrition caused by high consumption of fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids), salt (sodium) and sugar (mono- and disaccharides).

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.

work progress

WP1 - Materials, Methods and Legislation requirements

Within PLEASURE project, WP1 has been dedicated to establish reference protocols to be used during the project. Also, consumer’s expectations regarding salt, sugar and lipids reduction have been assessed through a survey done in 5 European countries (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain).

The survey shows the way European consumers understand the reduction of the specific food products they were asked about. Labeling schemes, health benefits, texture and other properties of the products as well as the consumers’ willingness to pay are also examined. In addition the consumers’ change of intention to buy and their trust after knowledge of reduction were investigated.

Among the main achievements of PLEASURE, innovative ways of communicating the salt, sugar and lipids reductions towards consumers have been considered, within PLEASURE project using indexes (normalized values ranging from 1 for the reference to zero ) instead of statements defined by ongoing nutrition claims (such as “reduced in”,  “low in” or “free of” ...). It appeared through the survey that consumers from all countries agreed on this new way of reduction presentation.

Regarding analytical innovations within the material and methods to be used during the project, a model mouth (in vitro masticator) has been developed and by Oniris with specific functionalities allowing an analytical approach of tastant release during mastication. This system will be used and compared to in vivo tests during the rest of the project to facilitate ranking of products reduced in tastants. In the long term, such equipment can be highly beneficial to the food industry to develop new food concepts

WP2 Baking applications

Salt reduction in model pizza dough
A pizza dough has been considered as a model system. The reduction of salt content induces some challenges such as possible stickiness development or some lamination problems (dough sheeting). The pizza dough has been designed according to specification of partner APM-EURODOUGH. This includes the fact that the dough is a ready to bake dough packed in MAP packaging condition and should have a shelf life of 5 weeks at 4°C. The investigations have been done based on the model dough which was a simplified formulation with two main modalities which were without added fat and with added fat. 

Application of different strategies for the development of salty micro-domain in the dough has been considered such as the salt granulometry, the method of salt incorporation, the moment of salt incorporation, the hydration of dough, the mixing and the sheeting. The objective was to reduce the overall salt content by at least 25% while keeping the saltiness perception. Results showed that salt reduction was doable while keeping the same saltiness perception; however, accurate quantification of the acceptable salt reduction depends on the individuals. Further tests are being carried out for that. The behaviour of the dough during mixing and during sheeting has been investigated using prototype equipments. Indeed, salt reduction affects the mixing condition and the plasticity of the dough. Salt granulometry and methods of salt incorporation do not modify saltiness perception. Texture perception varies according to the method of salt incorporation. Salt granulometry does not induce modifications of texture perception. Sensory tests have been carried out with a trained panel and showed that saltiness perception was modulated by the methodology used for salt installation and the recipe used. Further development will be done using a full recipe and considering microbial stability during storage at 4°C for 5 weeks.

Sweetness perception  in a model dough using amyloglucosidase
Sugar reduction has been investigated in a model dough using sucrose and/or amyloglucosidase (AMG) as sweetening agents. AMG has the capability to release glucose units from starch biopolymers. Different combinations of sucrose and AMG content have been investigated and evaluated in terms of sweetness perception (trained sensory panel), dough rheology and sugar content (measured by HPLC considering glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose). Results showed that it was possible to suppress completely the adding of sucrose when using AMG at appropriate percentage. Combinations of AMG and sucrose can also be considered. Dough rheology was affected mostly by the adding of sucrose; AMG offers a smart alternative to sucrose in that it results in a less dough stickiness while developing a sugar production with sugar having a higher level of sweetening power such as fructose.

Salt reduction in pizza dough
A pizza reference dough has been designed by APM. A prototype dough sheeter has been designed in collaboration between PROMATEC and ONIRIS and has been delivered by ONI in February 2013. This sheeter has been equipped with specific sensors (touchless infrared  temperature sensor and laser thickness sensor to measure specifically dough temperature and dough thickness. Salt distribution on the dough has been developed with a specific grain distributor. A frequency variation system has been installed both on the conveyor system of the dough sheeter and also on the grain distributor. Investigations carried out by Mathieu SADOT (trainee at ONI) gave access to specific  results on salt distribution of salt on the dough before and after sheeting. Specific results on saltiness perception are under analysis (PhD M Guilloux) and will be presented at PANGBORN international conference in August 2013.

Puffing pastries

The research of WP2 aims to produce a puff pastry (PP) characterized by a lower salt and fat content and a healthier fat type, respectively. Using the recipe provided by APM-EURODOUGH for PP production, new methods for characterization of internal and external quality parameters of puff pastry were tested, improved and implemented successfully (VolScan, Texture Analyzer and C-Cell). The objective was to reduce the solid roll-in fat by adjusting processing parameters without adversely affect the product. The modified technological parameters include the number of fat layers and the final thickness of the laminated dough. Further the influence of 3 different fat blends with varying ratios of palm stearin and rapeseed oil was investigated. In this way, it was possible to develop two puff pastry products low in fat (minus 20%) with quality characteristics comparable to the control (APM) with a high fat content (27%). As roll-in fat was used the standard fat blend (palm stearin/rapeseed oil: 66/34, w/w) for the first fat reduced PP (48 fat layers, 1.75 mm final thickness) and fat blend 2 (palm stearin/rapeseed oil: 56/44, w/w) for the second fat reduced PP product. Fat blend 2 is richer in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to the standard fat blend.

The obtained knowledge was transferred to a new model recipe (German bakers literature) to carry out an optimization process using Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Based on a fat content of 33% in the control the fat in PP dough (German recipe, 144 layers, 2.50 mm thickness, fat blend 1: palm stearin/rapeseed oil: 69/31, w/w) has been reduced by 40% using RSM. Additionally 3 further fat blends with various compositions of palm stearin and rapeseed oil were investigated for use in the PP reduced in fat (German recipe). Fat reduced products (- 40%) with fat blend 2 (56% palm stearin/ 44% rapeseed oil) showed similar quality parameters compared to the control PP (German recipe). Thus, the results of previous tests regarding fat blends richer in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (APM-recipe) were confirmed.

WP3 - Low fat and low salt meat products

The WP3 aims at the development of low salt and low fat meatproducts. So far, the project has been focused in the development of processes based on high pressure processing (HPP) which allow a salt reduction of 30 %. Two important meat products such as cooked sausages Bologna type and cooked ham has been the target for the salt reduction.
In-depth analysis has been done on HPP conditions (mainly pressure level) and the more suitable stage to apply the HPP treatment along the process and their relation to the technological properties of the end product such as water holding capacity, consistency and sensory perception in order to find out the optimal settings allowing an improvement of the structure and thus a salt reduction.

A reduction of 30 % of the salt content for cooked sausage Bologna style and cooked ham has been developed by using HPP treatment and/ or the use of phosphates. The use of phosphates has been evidenced to provide very important functionality to allow salt reduction. HPP treatment at 100 MPa applied at the pre-chopping stage or after the tumbling for cooked sausage Bologna type and cooked ham, respectively, has been shown to improve the water binding and thus it allows a reduction of salt content without the use of phosphates. Since HPP equipment still requires high investment, it is recommendable in order to get more penetration in the meat industry, especially for the SMEs, the use of phosphates. Novel advances in HPP equipment like the development of low working-pressure equipment may result in lowering the investment needed and industrial HPP equipment with thermal assisted pressurization may also result in higher benefit in the production of salt-reduced meat products in the future.

In a second phase, further research has been conducted by using sodium replacing ions in combination with the optimal treatments developed in the previous phase in order to get a further salt reduction. For cooked sausage Bologna type a reduction of 45% of salt content has been achieved.

In the future, the WP3 will have its main focus in the fat reduction and in the application of the developed products to the preparation of ready to eat meals for consumer testing and demonstration.

WP4 - Low salt and low fat mozzarella- style

Triplicate cheesemaking trials have been undertaken in order to develop a scientific platform to bring about improvement in the quality of reduced-fat, reduced-salt mozzarella-style cheese and to facilitate the study of the interactive effects of reduced fat and salt contents in the cheese matrix. Six cheesemaking treatments were factored into an experimental design that allow for reductions in the targeted components i.e. fat and salt, to be pursued individually and also collectively in order to monitor their interactive effects on subsequent cheese quality: Full-fat, full-salt (FFFS), full-fat, reduced-salt (FFRS), reduced-fat, full-salt (RFFS), reduced-fat, reduced-salt (RFRS), reduced-fat, full-salt, low-calcium (RFFSLC) and reduced-fat, reduced-salt, low-calcium (RFRSLC). The RFRSLC treatment represented an initial attempt using process interventions to moderate the degree of casein polymer interaction and structural jamming in the matrix of these ‘reduced-in’ cheeses by modifying standard make procedure for mozzarella to reduce intermolecular calcium cross-linking (Deliverable 4.1). These cheeses have undergone full compositional analysis including biochemical, textural and rheological changes with ripening/storage time. Preparations for a publishable paper on this study are currently underway. Although the quality of the reduced-fat, reduced-salt cheese has been improved, sensory analysis (Deliverable D4.2) confirmed that there is still a shortfall in terms of flavour and some functional properties (e.g. meltability, hardness) in comparison to full-fat, full-salt cheese. Hence, the next phase of investigation relies on incorporation of exogenous proteinase/peptidase blends as a more robust approach to reducing casein polymer integrity while at the same time improving cheese flavour. Enzyme blends are undergoing preliminary screening studies to assess their suitability for addition to the cheese curd based on identification of their stability to certain key process changes during cheesemaking e.g. pH, salt content, heat treatment. Once a suitable enzyme/ blend(s) has been selected, trials will commence with their incorporation into cheesemilk and subsequent monitoring during processing and ripening.

WP5 - Sugar, salt and fat reduced fruit & vegetable preparations for the use in RTE meals

In WP5, novel biotechnological and physical processes were assessed and developed for obtaining natural and low sugar, salt and fat reduced sauces and fruit products. Preference was set on the abandonment of replacers and on reduced used of artificial ingredients.

Within these objectives, novel biotechnological processes had successfully been developed, delivering natural and low sugar fruit and vegetable preparations without artificial sweeteners. In addition to a successful screening and optimisation procedure, novel process equipment had been developed and adopted to high viscous products like fruit purees or tomato paste. The proof of concept had been demonstrated by repeated trials using apple puree as a model system. Within the process developed, the whole sucrose and glucose present in the fruit preparations had successfully been removed. Further research trials will aim on a combination of the biotechnological processes developed and an upscale of pilot plant scale.

In a second approach, an innovative technology had been developed to produce fat reduced emulsions with textures comparable to emulsions with a high fat content. Surprisingly, although keeping the viscosity similar to traditional and commercial full-fat mayonnaises, the developed technology had been able to reduce the fat content of the resulting products up to 35 % (with support of further food approved ingredients even up to 98 %) without losing mouthfeel or viscosity. In carbonara sauce, a final fat content of only 1.5% in the end-product had been reached. Further trials will aim on the transfer of the technology developed to salt reduction in different model sauces.


    1st International PLEASURE Conference

During 18th and 19th of June 2014 the PLEASURE Consortium is proud to invite all of you in the historical city of La Rochelle to join our 1st International Conference.
Description: La Rochelle.jpgDuring this event, a state of the art on tastant perception using in vivo and in vitro approaches will be benchmarked. Indeed, the project gathered the best European specialists of such approaches. Then a state of the art and recent results obtained within the project and also in selected parallel initiatives in Europe on salt, sugar and lipid reduction will be presented.

The study on saltiness perception in assembled solid food is a specificity of PLEASURE project. This point will be highlighted. Coffee breaks and lunch break will be used as opportunities to taste and compare different products based on process approach for salt-sugar and lipid reduction concepts.

This conference will be coupled with the “Health & Food days” (JAS) organized by the cluster « CRITT Agro-Alimentaire » of La Rochelle and which should gather over 800 delegates, mostly from the French and European industry.
A unique opportunity to promote your expertise!

In our program we have several spots open for industry or academia presentations.
Be the first to submit an abstract on your research and have the opportunity to present your findings in front of a selected audience. Limited spots available!!!

During the conference we will have a poster competition and award 3 prizes. The prizes will be awarded in collaboration with our sponsors for the best posters presented, in order to encourage young scientists, especially those during Master or Ph.D. The posters have to focus on the own scientific work of the candidate and be in line with the conference topics.
Do not miss this opportunity and submit an abstract as soon as possible!!!

    ⇨ Booth at SIAL 2014

Description: SIAL 2014 - The Global Food MarketplaceIf you missed our tasting session in La Rochelle our booth at SIAL 2014 in Paris is the place where the PLEASURE innovations will be presented.
Check our website for updated info…






Dr. Tomas Bolumar is project manager at the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL). Dr Bolumar completed his PhD in Food Science in 2004 at the laboratory of Meat Science from the Institute of AgroChemistry and Food Technology (CSIC), Spain. Hereafter, he went into industry to work in R&D projects in one of the biggest Spanish meat processors, Martinez Loriente, for 4.5 years. Then, he continued his research making a Postdoc about High Pressure Processing of meat in antioxidant active packaging at the department of Food Science from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Overall, he combines a scientific background and industrial experience in the meat area from leading intitutions and companies for more than 10 years. He is author of more than 20 publications related to meat biochemistry and quality affected by processing.

Dr. Tomas Bolumar research interest are the applicability of the meat science and technology including the biochemistry intended to improve the quality attributes of meats and meat products from a sensorial, technological or health perspective.
He has been involved in several national fundend projects as well as EU projects such as Pathogen Combat (FP6, participant partner), Shockmeat (FP7- Research for the benefit of SME, Coordinator), PLEASURE (Work package leader) and Ultratender (FP7- Research for the benefit of SME, Technical manager).
The main focuses of the German Institute of Food Technologies in PLEASURE are on the development of low salt and low fat meat products.


Dr Phil Kelly  - B.Sc Dairy & Food Science, M.Sc Dairy Engineering, PhD, MBA is Senior Principal Research Scientist at Teagasc Food Research Centre Moorepark with extensive experience in both research and programme management. His research interests include physico-chemical and functional changes to milk and other milk-derived streams during processing, especially during concentration and dehydration. Characterisation of compositional and biofunctional aspects of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) enriched material recovered from milk and dairy processes ( buttermaking and cheesemaking). Exploitation of novel processes especially developments in membrane separation technology for targeted enrichment and enhanced functionality of milk components that lead to ingredient innovation e.g. for cheesemaking applications. 

He is Project Coordinator of a major Irish national initiative in Irish Cheese Research – CheeseBoard 2015 ( and Principal Investigator responsible for pre-commercial scale-up in the Food for Health Ireland project (www.
Prof. Tim Guinee is a Principal Research Officer in the Department of Food Chemistry & Technology at Teagasc Food Research Centre (TFRC), Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork.  He graduated with a BSc in Dairy Science (1980) and a Ph.D. in Dairy Chemistry (1985) from University College Cork.  He worked in commercial R&D nationally and internationally on various aspects of cheeses (natural, processed, analogue types_ and applications in milk protein ingredients in cheese products and fermented milk products. He was appointed a Senior Research Officer in Teagasc 1990. The overall theme of his research is Food Chemistry/technology with particular emphasis on physico-chemical properties and structure-function relationships of food gel composites and cheese-based products, and how these are altered by imposed unit operations, ingredient properties, and product compositions.
He is author or co-editor of 3 books on cheese and ca. 91 peer reviewed research papers and reviews. He has successfully directed research projects funded through the Food Industry Research Measure, Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund, United States/Ireland Co-operation Program in Agricultural Science and Technology, European Regional Development Fund, the EU (7th Framework) and Dairy Levy Fund.
He routinely supervises students for Masters Degree and PhD. He has lectured on various aspects of cheese, and food macromolecules to students pursuing food-science based degrees at University College Cork.  He also liaises extensively with the food industry, nationally and internationally, applying his research expertise to deliver solutions, product innovation, process validation/auditing, and training. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the International Dairy Journal and Egyptian Dairy Journal.

Dr. Kieran Kilcawley joined Teagasc Food Research in 1996 and is responsible for three core areas of research: flavour chemistry, cheese biochemistry and fermentation.  Kieran was previously employed as a research scientist at Imperial Biotechnology Ltd, London, UK between 1990 and 1996, where he was primarily involved in research into flavour.  The main focus of his research continues to be directly related to flavour in foods and beverages with a major focus on cheese.  Kieran works extensively with industry in the area of cheese flavour development, aroma profiling, identification of taints/off-odours, chemical contaminants, lipid oxidation and in the analysis of free fatty acids in dairy foods. 

Kieran organised and chaired the 8th Cheese Symposium in 2011 as part of the UCC/Teagasc strategic alliance in food research in collaboration with INRA.  Kieran has secured ~€2.6 million in competitively won grants and has 31 peer reviewed publications and 7 book chapters.
Sarah Henneberry is a PhD Candidate student working on PLEASURE WP4 under the supervision of the project’s principal investigators.  She is a registered postgraduate student of the University of Limerick where her academic supervisor is Prof Martin Wilkinson, Department of Life Sciences.  Following competition during 2013, Sarah was recipient of a travel subsidy award  by the  European Commission to participate at the Masterclass and  the International Conference on "Food Structures, Digestion and Health 2013" co-organised by the EC under the umbrella of the KBBE forum and  held in Melbourne (Australia) where she also gave an oral presentation and presented a poster on her research.

Focus on fat

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death among men and women in Europe [1] what means that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for nearly half of the European deaths, causing more than 4.35 million of deaths in the 52 States Members in the European Region of the WHO and more than 1.9 million of deaths in the European Community. Cancer is the second leading cause of death [2]. Both diseases are related to excess fat intake and imbalance lipid profile on the diet. In this sense, olive oil has been associated with a decrease in overall and cardiovascular mortality [3] what is more, cumulative evidence suggests that olive oil may have a profound influence on health specially on cardiovascular risk factors [4,5,6].

Some researches support the concept of the important role that saturated fat plays in cancer promotion [7], and strong evidences have been found for a relation between obesity and total fat intake and the incidence of certain types of cancers. There is in fact a significant correlation between total fat intake and the risk of cancer. But also cholesterol accumulation may cause prostate cancer [8], an inverse association between on-treatment LDL-cholesterol and incident cancer has been found [9] as well as an inverse association of serum cholesterol with many cancers [9,10,11]. On the basis of these facts, it seems necessary to develop meat products having a healthier fat fraction.

[1] M. Nichols, N. Townsand, P. Scarborough, M. Rayner, “European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics”,European Heart NetworkAISBL, 2012, pp. 26-33.

[2] WHO. “Charting the way to well-being,” The European Health report 2012, Copenhagen, 2012

[3] A. Trichopoulou, T. Costacou, C. Bamia and D. Trichopoulous “Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and survival in a Greek population,” The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 348, 2003, pp. 2599-2608.

[4] C. L. Huang and B.E. Sumpio, “Olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and cardiovascular health,” Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Vol. 207, 2008, pp. 407-416.

[5] M.I. Covas, V. Konstantinidou and M. Fito, “Olive oil and cardiovascular disease”, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Vol. 54, 2009, pp. 447-482.

[6] M. Ruiz-Canela, M. A. Martínez-González, “Olive oil in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease,” Maturitas, Vol. 68, No. 3, March 2011, pp.245-250.

[7] H. Kesteloot, E. Lesaffre, J. Joossens, “Dairy fat, saturated animal fat, and cancer risk,” Preventive Medecine, Vol. 20, No. 2, March 1991, pp. 226-236.

[8] J. R. Krycer, A. J. Brown, “Cholesterol accumulation in prostate cancer: A classic observation from a modern perspective,” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer, Vol. 1835, No. 2, 2013, pp 219-229.

[9] A. Alawi Alsheikh, T.A. Trikalinos, D.M. Kent, R. H. Karas, “Statins, Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol, and Risk of Cancer,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol. 52, No. 14, Boston, Massachusets, September 2008, pp. 1141-1147.

[10] C. Pohuang, N. Abraham, G.N. Stemmermann, I. Kato, “Prospective Study of Serum Cholesterol and Site-specific Cancers,” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Vol. 45, No. 3, March 1992, pp. 287-292.

[11] D. Christiane, F. Philippe, “Cholesterol and breast cancer development,” Current Opinion in Pharmacology, Vol. 12, No. 6, December 2012, pp. 677-682.




Mr. Matthias Kueck
PLEASURE Coordinator
Fischkai 1
D-27572 Bremerhaven

Tel.: +49-(0)471-929285-11
Fax : +49-(0)471-929285-19

Bianca Pop
PLEASURE Dissemination Manager
Cosminului Str.8
400642 Cluj-Napoca
Mobile.: +40 742 59 32 09