Design of new foods should focus particularly on healthy gastro-intestinal tract

May 6, 2014
Design of new foods should focus particularly on healthy gastro-intestinal tract

New foods should be designed – more than has been the case up to now – with human health in mind, and especially the health of the gastro-intestinal tract. There is a need for a new generation of products known as functional foods, which are beneficial to bowel health and which are also regarded as such by consumers. This is what Professor Vincenzo Fogliano said on accepting the post of Professor of Food Quality and Design at Wageningen University. He believes his own scientific discipline should help to reduce the high percentage of failures involved in introducing new products.

About ten years ago, thinking up and designing functional foods was regarded as the promised land for the . However, that resulted far more often in frustration than in success, explained Professor Fogliano in his inaugural address entitled 'Food Design: Quality Matters!'. Consumers were obviously not willing to pay more for products that appeared to them to have few advantages. Furthermore, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) turned out to be very restrictive in permitting health claims for those products. The outcome was that around 90% of newly introduced healthy products were taken off the market within several weeks. That meant enormous losses for the food companies and a decreased motivation to follow this particular route any further.

Allergy

Nevertheless, Vincenzo Fogliano thinks there are good reasons for continuing to develop healthy products. He has noticed a growing demand for such foods among consumers. Besides, there have in fact been successful introductions of certain products over the last few years; products for people with an allergy, for example. Recent scientific discoveries involving the functioning of the gastro-intestinal tract indicate many possibilities for designing products with a particular biochemical and physiological function, he said.

By way of illustration he mentioned foods focusing on weight loss, which are geared towards creating a well-fed feeling, and foods that are able to release a particular concentration whenever and wherever necessary, which have been designed to help prevent cancer. For Fogliano, the most interesting food products are those that have a beneficial impact on the intestinal flora and that could result in a of .

Insects as sustainable source of food and feed

Prof. Fogliano mentions in his address two areas in which the 'food chain approach' developed by his group could contribute new knowledge and innovations. He sees considerable potential, for example, in employing insects as a sustainable source of food and feed: "Despite the cultural obstacles to consuming insects, scientists and policymakers are all agreed that using insects as a food source offers the best chances of feeding mankind in the future."

He also sees considerable potential in thinking up and designing specific that are suitable for feeding the populations of rapidly expanding cities. "Would it be possible to overcome problems that occur in metropolitan areas – undernourishment and the disappearance of traditional eating customs, for example – and at the same time maintain the local economy and community?," he wonders. Fogliano, whose group does a great deal of research in Africa with the aim of linking local production to modern distribution chains, thinks it is possible.

Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions

With reference to this, he mentioned the AMS (Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions), the new Amsterdam-based applied technology institute that will soon be starting up in Amsterdam, with Wageningen University as one of the most important partners. Fogliano would like the expertise his group has developed over the last few years to play a part in this initiative. At the same time he would learn more about supplies in the metropolitan areas, knowledge that could be useful for his group.

Explore further: The new frontier: Creating and marketing food products that prevent disease and obesity

Related Stories

The new frontier: Creating and marketing food products that prevent disease and obesity

July 17, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Creating and promoting foods that contain natural inhibitors of unhealthy angiogenesis – the formation of blood vessels that feed and promote disease, obesity and inflammation – is the "new frontier ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

April 15, 2014
CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well as how to incorporate ...

Genetically engineered food labeling examined in new paper

April 29, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—As consumers and legislators across the nation grapple with whether to require labeling of genetically engineered foods and food products, a new "issues paper" addressing that topic is being released today ...

Food science poised to help address needs of aging population

April 4, 2012
The aging baby boomers and subsequent generations will be looking to the food industry to provide products that can help them live longer, healthier and more active lives than previous generations, according to research presented ...

Recommended for you

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.