Pennotec is pleased to announce a new research collaboration with Irish company CyberColloids and Bangor University’s Biocomposites Centre with the aim of addressing some factors affecting childhood obesity by making food choices healthier. This SBRI challenge-led project is overseen by Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Division and supported financially through the Welsh Government and Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). It aims to develop new functional food ingredients from surplus food industry resources in Wales and use them to replace high calorie ingredients such as fat in the kinds of food that are particularly popular with children.
Wales like the rest of the UK and Europe generates thousands of tonnes of surplus fresh food resources such as apples and potatoes that never make it to the supermarket shelves because they are out-graded, surplus to requirements or only partly consumed, such as in fruit-based drink production. These surplus fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in natural fibres with many beneficial nutritional properties. Our new Irish-Welsh research collaboration will combine expertise in the mechanical milling of surplus fruit and vegetables with the aim of producing food fibres with unique textures and sensory profiles, which can replace fat in certain food types.
Our project hopes to make it possible for food manufacturers, school caterers and kitchens in our homes to create virtually fat-free versions of the types of food our children love to eat. Functional food fibres will also bring additional nutritional benefits of providing dietary fibre with no caloric value. They are also allergen free, GMO free and suitable for vegans. This unique approach to providing more nutritious food choices can help tackle childhood obesity will not only drive down cost but will also help to reduce unnecessary food waste in Wales and the wider UK.