Now after much hard work, the UK-based food and drink innovators have come up with a concept that illustrates an approach that could have a significant impact on product innovation within the health conscious market.
Head of the department of food manufacturing technologies, Philip Richardson, explains to FoodIngredientsFirst how the research came about and the concept the Campden innovators have created.
“Burgers are stereotypically included in the concept of the Western diet, that is to say a diet rich in salt, saturated fats and red meats. Association of the Western diet with the progression of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes partly guides general current dietary advice, which advocates reduced saturated fat, salt and red meat intake, and increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”
“Burger reformulation was chosen as a good example of adjusting the nutritional content of a typical Western product whilst maintaining or even improving sensory attributes such as flavor.”
“FHIS (Food Health Innovation Service) was a five-year program supported by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to stimulate companies in Scotland to develop healthy food products for that expanding sector of the market, especially given the extensive range of raw materials available in Scotland.”
Campden BRI tendered for this work (back in 2010) and managed the partnership with other organizations in Scotland, like Interface, Scottish Agricultural Organization Society and University of Aberdeen.
The aim was to reduce the salt content of beef burgers while adding beta-glucan (soluble fiber) because this has been associated with reductions in blood cholesterol concentrations, coronary heart disease risk, and reductions in postprandial glycaemic responses (the change in blood glucose concentration after a meal).
The company’s food development scientists worked in the pilot plant to create three variations of the economy beef burger using fine milled oat bran, milled oats or ground quick oats to replace low fiber rusk filler. The sodium content, cook loss and taste of the reformulated beef burgers were then compared to the ordinary economy burger. Cook loss is the inevitable loss in burger weight during cooking.
“Replacement of rusk with these materials was aimed at introducing whole grain components into the burger. This had several beneficial effects; increasing the fiber and β-glucan content, which is associated with several benefits to health, including the management of blood cholesterol concentrations (associated with cardiovascular disease risk), and acting as a flavor enhancer to reduce the requirement for salt addition to the product. Reducing salt in foods is also important in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and is the focus of a national voluntary set of targets aimed at progressively minimizing salt consumption in the UK.”
“At Campden BRI we have a huge range of food and drink pilot plant facilities, covering over 3,000m2, to help develop new products, analyze existing processes, and evaluate ideas for the future.”
“The work on reformulating burgers was undertaken as part of our NPD Insights series within FHIS which we designed to demonstrate and illustrate what could technically be done to change recipes to make products more healthy – the output was not the burger itself, but more the approach which was then taken up by companies wishing to explore reformulation on burgers and other similar products.”
The food development scientists came up with three formulated burgers containing almost one third less salt than the ordinary economy burger and all met the category-specific 300 mg Na/100 g target set by the Department of Health for 2017.
All the beef burgers were cooked to an internal temperature of 70°C for two minutes and weighed to determine the cook loss. The burgers made with oat bran filler retained moisture best and had a similar cook loss to the ordinary economy burger – 26.9g compared to 26.1g respectively.
Informal tastings showed that the beef burgers containing oat bran filler were preferred to the ordinary economy burger.
“Informal tastings are run by our experienced food technologists in our development kitchen on the basis of preference as a guide to the quality of a product. They are not scientifically conducted, although we take care to ensure that we are not aware of the product’s identity. This is a quick and easy method of getting a good steer on how product development is progressing. It is not a full scale consumer test,” adds Richardson.
He explains how the burger itself was not the aim of this project, it’s more the approach and how experience and expertise in reformulation can be brought to bear on nutrition and health targets.
“Indeed, this was a theme of the project – overall FHIS worked with over 500 companies providing guidance and support to stimulate product innovation.
“Product innovation is ultimately driven to meet consumer demand. This demand can be driven from many angles, with health consciousness being one of those. The companies we were working with in Scotland all had a strong focus on product innovation to meet the demands of their consumers. The health driver is clearly important as part of that mix.”
“Reformulation to deliver reduced fat, salt and sugar has been and still is on the agenda of food companies, and this work is one example of how technical approaches can be used to deliver new and creative products to the consumer.”
“It is important to note that this work was about illustrating the approach rather than being aimed at a specific new product. The principles used in this work and illustrated via the burger work can and will have significant impact on product innovation for the diet and health conscious market.”
by Gaynor Selby