Tate and Lyle holds inaugural science meeting to improve product textures

Ingredients and solutions business Tate & Lyle has hosted its inaugural European meeting of texture scientists, attracting a broad range of industry specialists from across the continent, aiming to improve product ranges.

The event at the company’s application centre in Lübeck, Germany, included seminars led by the firm’s scientists and sector experts, including use of advanced starches within a number of food series.

One of the day’s core elements involved an exploration of Tate & Lyle’s Texture Vantage expert systems, which is a suite of texture selection tools, that are now enabling companies to innovate in line with consumer trends. Using the company’s texture maps, for instance, formulators are able to predict how different starches will impact on viscosity, processing and sensory characteristics, helping them to accelerate product development and reduce the need for extensive consumer trials.

Alongside Tate & Lyle application and research and development experts, the event featured a highly respected speaker line-up of academics, including Claire Rossi, PhD, University of Technology – Compiègne, France, and Christian Sina, MD, University of Lübeck, Germany. In addition to the seminars, attendees toured the Lübeck application centre and joined texture innovation workshops focussed on soups, sauces and dressings applications.

Dr Judy Whaley, senior vice president of research and development at Tate & Lyle, said: “One of the key consumer trends in the European market today is the boom in plant-based foods. ‘Vegan’ and ‘vegetarian’ products are the fastest growing new product claims1. This, together with the ‘rise and rise’ of clean-label2 and increasing consumer demand for reduced fat, sugar and calorie products, means food formulators are grappling with how to deliver functionality with alternative ingredients.

“Texture is one of the most difficult functionalities to get right. As producers push the boundaries of innovation and use less familiar ingredients, they have a greater need for texture design tools and insights that can predict product and ingredient performance and reduce development time. The demand for this support, and the need for the exchange of ideas and knowledge, will only increase over time, and that is why we bring manufacturers and leading experts together at events such as this.”

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