Chapter 18: Development of Healthy Food Structures: Reduction of Sugar, Salt, and Fat
Published:17 Oct 2019
Sugar, salt, and fat are health-sensitive nutrients widely added to processed foods. This may be as processing aide, for preservation, for flavour enhancement, or to develop the product-specific structure. While the reasons for their application are frequently interlinked, the primary focus of this chapter is on food structure. What is the structure functionality of sugar, salt, and fat? What are the healthy alternatives to these nutrients, and what is the impact on food structure? Are there food structure approaches for the reduction of sugar, salt, and fat? There are, and some of the approaches discussed in this chapter include particles with designed morphology (size, shape, internal microstructure), emulsion droplets with encapsulated water (fat reduction), or salt/sugar solution (salt/sugar reduction), bubbles as zero calorie as tastant-excluding fillers, and water-in-water emulsions mimicking the mouthfeel of water-in-oil emulsions (fat reduction). It is concluded that replacement strategies for health-compromising tastants have been exhausted, and levels of reduction are limited by their technological functions. Progress has been made with the food structure approach, ensuring an acceptable flavour profile; future efforts to achieve further reductions of sugar, salt, and fat need to consider the manufacturing paradigm as a variable.