Findings from researchers in Spain suggest that creating new food products that contain more air in them may help industry to increase the satiating effects of their products.
Writing in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, the team combined findings from science and chefs to demonstrate a practical way to design satiating new products using food grade ingredients.
"Fixing air in food could be another alternative to design satiating products," noted the researchers. "Subjects reduced their intake when a more-aerated sample was served. These results confirm and extend the findings from previous studies indicating that the amount of air incorporated into food can affect the energy intake."
"These results open an interesting and promising path for the design of food for wellness," they added.
"From the initial idea of the chef, a highly aerated product was designed to prove that the feeling of fullness starts before food is eaten, at the point when the food is just being viewed by the consumer," explained the research team - led by Juan-Carlos Arboleya from the AZTI-Tecnalia Food Research Institute, Spain.
The team used mixtures of food-grade silica particles, methylcellulose (MC) and ovalbumin (OA) to produce food products with better distribution of air and increased volume. They reported that silica particles at a concentration of 0.3 wt% , mixed with MC (0.5 wt%) and OA (1 wt%) showed higher surface activity and viscoelasticity at the surface than the isolated ingredients.
"This mixture also showed the highest foam capacity and foam stability compared to the mixtures with none or 0.4 wt% of silica," said Arboleya and colleagues, adding that highly aerated structures were made by using a 0.3wt% concentration.
To verify the idea of having higher expected satiety with a highly aerated product, the team then carried out a consumer study, which revealed that subjects reduced their intake when a more-aerated sample was served compared to a less aerated sample.
The team added that aerated foods are often perceived as lighter in terms of calories, thus satisfying consumer needs, but noted that introducing a gas phase into a food matrix not only affects its texture and firmness making the product lighter, but also changes the appearance, colour and mouth-feel.
"It is essential to revise this aspect because these products are not only consumed for health purposes, but also for enjoyment," they concluded.
Source: International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.ijgfs.2013.12.002
"Effect of highly aerated food on expected satiety"
Authors:Juan-Carlos Arboleya, Maruxa García-Quiroga, et al