Fermentation has been exploited by mankind for millennia to preserve food and enhance the sensory quality of food. Fermentations hold a great potential to enrich food with bioactive metabolites with physiological and preservation functions, providing health and economic benefits. Furthermore, fermentation may also hold the potential of improving the technological functionality of nutrient rich ingredients such as cereal brans, thus allowing for increasing their inclusion on bakery products such as bread and biscuits.
The LONGLIFE consortia aimed at renewing the fermentation process to produce value-added fermented cereal-derived foods with improved health benefits, organoleptic qualities (e.g. smell, taste, texture etc.) and shelf-life.
Fermented cereal bran ingredients were developed showing increased amounts of soluble fibres and antioxidant. Biscuit products with fermented bran were developed with 30% sugar reduction and addition of fibres as sugar substitute showing similar sensory quality. Chemical analysis confirmed substantial sugar reduction and lower predicted glycemic index (GI). Bread products with fermented bran showed substantial reduction in predicted GI.
The results of this project are expected to have a positive impact on the food industry through the innovative processes leading towards a more sustainable food production and nutrition security, benefitting the health of citizens, society and the economy.
Our part of the project aimed at developing technological strategies which can be put in place to enhance the nutritional value of bakery products such as bread and biscuits. We focus on two main aspects: (i) functionalization of ingredients to improve technological functionality and bioavailability of bioactives; (ii) formulation strategies to include more of the functional ingredients and replace sugars.
The first aspect was addressed in collaboration with the other consortium partners. The questions were: 1. Can we use a physical pretreatment (i.e. super heated steam) of brans to enhance bioavailability of substrates for later fermentation with lactic acid bacteria? Does the pre-treatment also enhances availability of bioactives and of soluble fibres? As TNO/WFBR, we took care of optimizing the bran material pre-treatment to enhance extractability of soluble fibres and of antioxidant compounds such as phenolics. Together with the other partners, we studied the fermentation of native and pretreated brans by lactic acid bacteries.
The second aspect was related to making use of the modified bran in combination with formulation strategies to improve nutritional quality of bread and biscuit products without compromising on quality. For such reason, we defined a reference bread product and a reference biscuit product both representative of commercial products from Barilla. .
Bran modification strategies based on SHS treatment , lactic acid bacteria fermentation, and combination of both provided brans with increased availability of bioactives soluble fibres, EPS and antioxidant levels were substantially increased.
A selection of fermented brans providing best results in terms of availability (extractability) of bioactives were tested in both bread and biscuit applications. Formulation strategies were developed for reducing added sugar contents in biscuits by at least 30% while making also use of the modified brans. Finally, two product concepts were developed with substantially improved nutritional profiles compared to current benchmarks: (i) a bran enriched bread with >8% total dietary and additional bioactives (i.e. antioxidants) and (ii) a biscuit product with >8.7% total dietary fibre, max 14.4% of added sugar, and additional bioactives.
WFBR lab results were validated in a pilot production of reference and reformulated breads and biscuits by Barilla SpA. The products were characterized for their physical and chemical properties as well as sensorially assessed by a trained panel.
Cereal bran ingredients were developed with improved availability of bioactives compared to the starting reference material. These ingredients were developed by optimizing fermentation with lactic acid bacteria.
Biscuit products with fermented bran were developed with 30% sugar reduction and addition of oligosaccharides as sugar substitute showing similar sensory quality. Chemical analysis and in vitro testing confirmed substantial sugar reduction and lower predicted GI. Bread products with fermented bran showed substantial reduction in predicted GI. However, sensory properties of the developed bread product was remarkably different from the commercial reference
The daily intake of sodium, sugar and fats by modern western consumers is too high. This leads to major health issues and rising costs of healthcare. In many countries both the food industries and consumers have pledged to make western diets more healthy. However, the assortment of processed foods meeting nutrition and health requirements is still small and available products do not often meet expectations, thus compromising consumers’ food based personal health. Recently, the Dutch health agency RIVM has indicated a fibre deficiency of the dutch population in the range of 10 to 20g per day.
In the last 10 years a lot of practical reformulation strategies have taken place and reformulated products reduced in salt, sugar and fat and enriched in fibre have been brought to the market. Yet, the impact of new products is not evident in measurements of the consumption level of salt and sugar and no decline can be observed, while fibre deficiency is still large. Even though it is clear that consumers are aware of the health risks associated with their diet choices, the less healthy choices are still predominant, also due to a lack of sufficient alternatives in the market.
Fermentation has been exploited by mankind for millennia to preserve food and enhance the sensory quality of food. Bakery, dairy and meat products are common examples where fermentation is essential to guarantee product quality. Current practices for many of these products are still relying on traditional methods. However, fermentations hold a great potential to enrich food with bioactive metabolites with physiological and preservation functions, providing health and economic benefits. Furthermore, fermentation may also hold the potential of improving the technological functionality of nutrient rich ingredients such as cereal brans, thus allowing for increasing their inclusion on bakery products such as bread and biscuits.
The consortia aims at renewing the fermentation process to produce value-added fermented dairy liquids and powders, cereal-derived foods and beverages and meat products with improved health benefits, organoleptic qualities (e.g. smell, taste, food texture etc.) and extended shelf-life. The results of this project will have a positive impact on the food industry through the innovative processes leading towards a more sustainable food production and nutrition security, benefitting the health of citizens, society and the economy.
Within the consortia TNO is responsible for the development of heat and steam treatments, i.e. super-heated steaming (SHS) of cereal bran from various sources to increase extractability of soluble fibres and bioactives from the cellulosic material and to further enhance the bioavailability of bioactives by improving the fermentability of the bran. SHS processing as a novel clean process route which been successfully tested at TNO to increase the extraction of valueable compounds from different raw materials. It is envisaged that the treated bran substrates are then provided to the other partners for further evaluation as an effecive ingredient in fermentation technology.
Based on pre-selection of starter bacteria capable of producing bioactive metabolites (exopolysaccharides, polyols and antimicrobial compounds) and their use during fermentation of milk and cereals, the fermentation process will be optimised by the other partners to enable proper inclusion of bran and hence its nutrients in food products for health and economic benefit.
In close collaboration with an industrial partner, i.e. Barilla, TNO is responsible to define two commercial reference products, a bread and a biscuit product, of which the nutritional quality will be enhanced by developing optimal formulation strategies for inclusion of nutrient rich ingredients, i.e. bran and fermented bran. The formulation strategy under investigation aim at obtaining: (i) a bran enriched bread with >8% total dietary and additional bioactives and (ii) a biscuit product with >8.7% total dietary fibre, max 14.4% of added sugar, and additional bioactives. When succe
The use of SHS processing as a novel clean process route has been successfully tested at TNO to improve the nutritional value of cereal bran. Bran material from 3 different sources (oat bran, wheat bran and brewer’s spent grain) have been identified, sourced and characterized. The effect of different SHS process conditions have been evaluated on the different bran substrates. Optimal processing conditions were identified for wheat and oat bran which resulted in enhanced solubilization of valuable compounds arabinoxylan and β-glucan in wheat and oat bran. Furthermore, enhancement of extraction of soluble proteins from oat bran was obtained. Finally, the SHS treatment enhanced the availability of phenolics in both wheat and oat bran, thus resulting in increased anti-oxidant activity.
SHS treated wheat and oat bran were provided to the other consortium partners to be exploited for fermentation.
Benchmark and pilot bakery products recipes and process, i.e. for bread and biscuit, have been identified by TNO in collaboration with the industrial partner Barilla.
The influence of standard bran added at 18% level to a white bread recipe has been studied, showing large detrimental effects on bread quality.
Three lactic acid bacteria priorly identified at TNO for their ability to produce valuable exopolysaccharides have been tested on wheat and oat bran to check the possibility of using wheat and oat bran as fermentation substrates.
The effect of not yet optimized SHS, enzymatic and lactic acid bacteria fermentation on the functionality of wheat bran have been tested on the bread product application. Such modifications showed a partial improvement on bread quality in comparison to products were the standard bran was used.
Of all treatments, lactic acid bacteria fermentation provided the largest improvements in bread quality.
Fermentation has been exploited by mankind for millennia to preserve and enhance food. Fermented foods have a healthy, natural, clean label and safe image, but current practices for many food fermentations (broad spectrum activities of natural fermentation) are generally based on traditional methods, where specific culture selection methodologies are applied with focus on techno-functional characteristics as opposed to bio-functional capacity of the microbiota used in the fermentation process. Although fermented foods are generally accepted by consumers as healthy alternatives to foods processed by other methods, the mechanism whereby fermented foods are further digested in the human digestive tract have not been fully elucidated or understood. LONGLIFE will involve innovative processing of food substrates (milk, cereals and meat) into fermentates, using novel strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts to produce value-added fermented liquids and powders, grain-derived foods and beverages, long-fermented sourdough bread, and meat products with improved health benefits, organoleptic qualities and extended shelf-life. Based on pre-selection of starter bacteria capable of producing bioactive metabolites (exopolysaccharides, polyols and antimicrobial compounds) and their use during fermentation of milk, cereals and meat, we propose to improve the fermentation process by manipulating processing conditions to optimise food properties for health and economic benefit. Characteristics such as digestibility, palatability, stability and quality of the finished products will be taken into consideration to ensure highly marketable products are developed. Additionally, new prebiotic ingredients will be developed based on novel superheated steam processing of bran substrates for enhancing bio-functionality in food/beverages. Ex vivo studies will yield data on the validation of health effects (prebiotic and bioavailability/digestibility) of the generated ingredients and products. The project will have a positive impact on the food industry through the innovative processes developed which can improve food processing efficiency, lead to new markets and increased competitiveness. The developed products with improved functionality and shelf-life will contribute to more sustainable food production and nutrition security, benefitting the health of citizens, society and the economy.