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Reduction strategies for fat, sugar and salt

20 Jan 2020

Reduction strategies for fat, sugar and salt

Reduction2020 - is the theme that occupies the development and nutritional science fields. How does one reduce the sugar, salt and fat content and yet still offer the consumer an attractive and tasty portfolio, so that reformulated products are a true alternative? Here, ProSweets Cologne also demonstrates numerous innovations in the ingredients section.

Reduction strategies for fat, sugar and salt in Hal 10.1

Ingredients special event - Guided Tours DLG, Hal 10.1 Copyright - © Koelnmesse GmbH, Oliver Wachenfeld

Extrusion systems and high-pressure treatment - the current technological status

In the meantime, there are processes like high-pressure treatment or ultra high-pressure homogenisation, both of which aim to reduce fat, that enable the technological implementation of reductions. In addition to these structural modification strategies, the sugar content of certain foodstuffs can be reduced using special micro-organisms. In order to produce alternatives to meat products, one already uses extrusion technologies, which involve vegetable proteins being highly compressed by shearing, pressure and heat.

How fibre and sugar alternatives work in nutritional science

The theme fibre is attributed great potential in terms of energy reduction. Through the use of fibre concentrates an effective enhancement can already be achieved without changing the original texture of the food.

The clearly most important substance that needs to be reduced as a source of energy is sugar. After all in the form of sweetened drinks and convenience snack, sugar can already replace a main meal in terms of calorie content in a very short space of time. The advantage of the known sugar alternatives, such as i.e. sucrose or the sugar alcohol sorbitol, is the significantly lower blood sugar reaction as well as the lower release of insulin after food intake.

Reformulation measures and trend observation in major companies

The consumer good group "Nestlé" already presented its reformulation strategy for 6,000 products in 2016. Whereby, the group doesn't implement classic prevention here, because the consumers still enjoy the familiar and desired products after the reformulation has taken place. One can rather conclude that this conversion has to be seen as the awareness of their responsibility in the sense of public health and only constitutes an approach for health-promoting nutrition. That is why many companies have been pursuing "silent" reformulations for several years. Initially, short-term reduction aims are the main emphasis of such strategies, because long-term reduction projects require several technological development cycles.

One can however basically say that many marketing-driven market changes that are not oriented on the real requirement, are often just vague statements of the same experts and are neither tested nor questioned. Whether "milk-free milk" or "in-vitro meat" - in spite of all of the attention attracted, the market occurrences often prove to be different to the predictions.

Multisensory in reduction strategies

Exhibitor Netzsch ProSweets Cologne Copyright - © Koelnmesse GmbH, Oliver Wachenfeld

Why multisensory plays an important role in reduction strategies

Sensor and consumer research also play a decisive role in reduction projects. In order to develop efficient and target-oriented products, which completely comply with the consumers' requirements, key attributes have to be determined in their entirety in order to positively influence the perceptions of the consumer. In this way, multisensory approaches can optimise product recipes and thus do full justice to the demands of nutritional psychologists and the consumer.

Influencing the health economy and nutritional education

There is an "economy" for almost every commodity, from which input a production theory produces the desired output. This production technological model is successful if an increased demand calls for a higher output and the input is efficiently exploited. In order to influence this economy, drastic regulatory tax increases are for instance a tested method on the input side, but don't constitute a real possible action or are at the most a secondary prevention measure that has been applied to late.

Basically, the nutritional education is about promoting the appreciation and the correct handling of foodstuffs, which proves to be a challenge in everyday life. Here reduction strategies can be an important element in positively influencing the input side. However, for the consumers the taste and enjoyment aspects still play a decisive role and these aspects are difficult to circumvent. In order to be effective, concentrated efforts are therefore necessary, both regarding the implementation in the everyday routine and in terms of the nutritional and consumer education.

Reduction strategies for fat, sugar and salt

Exhibitor DÖHLER at ProSweets Cologne Copyright - © Koelnmesse GmbH, Harald Fleissner

Ingredients special event at ProSweets Cologne

In the scope of the Ingredients special event at ProSweets Cologne, which is being organised in collaboration with the DLG, you can discover the theme reduction strategies yourself. Sample products made live using alternatives compared to conventional recipes in the scope of the new Tasting Zone with Sebastian Lege. Renowned experts will answer your questions and vividly explain the production processes. As a further highlight one-hour Guided Tours focusing on "Reformulation" will offer you answers to the most important questions on the theme.

Further information on this theme can be found under the DLG Expert Knowledge: i.e. at https://www.dlg.org/de/lebensmittel/themen/publikationen/expertenwissen-lebensmitteltechnologie/dlg-expertenwissen-82017/


  • "ThinkTank Reduction2020"
  • Dr. Mehmet Cicek, Fovation - Food & Innovation
  • Dr. Malte Rubach, M.R. EXPERT
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Erdmann, Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University
  • Prof. Dr. Helge Fritsch, Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, Heilbronn
  • Prof. Der. Stefan Töpfl, Osnabrück University

Author: Jasmin Sier, TNC Production