Knowledge Based Bio-Economy


Combining technologies to achieve significant binary reductions in sodium, fat and sugar content in everyday foods whilst optimising their nutritional quality (Food processing)

Project acronym: TeRiFiQ

Title of project: Combining technologies to achieve significant binary reductions in sodium, fat and sugar content in everyday foods whilst optimising their nutritional quality

Research area: Food Processing

Contract No: 289397

EU contribution: €2 994 363

Start date: January 2012

Duration: 48 months

Status: on-going

Most developed countries are confronted with a rising rate of obesity, mainly due to bad eating habits, and in particular of not-well-balanced diets containing fat and low-size sugars. Moreover, this pathology is difficult to reverse. In many European countries, excessive salt consumption is also a problem and is linked to cardiovascular risks and hypertension.

In products such as sweetbread and cakes, the high glycemic index can raise blood glucose levels – a dietary feature which may negatively influence metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors in the long term. Significantly reducing these ingredients in food would contribute both to saving lives and to reducing healthcare costs. However, the multi-functional roles of fat, sugar and salt in food have qualitative and quantitative implications for their composition. Consequently, changing their concentration or substituting them for other ingredients will affect many properties of the food, such as texture, flavour perception, acceptability, shelf life, safety and nutritional properties.

Against this background, the overall objective of the TeRiFiQ project is to achieve significant reductions in the sodium-fat and fat-sugar contents of the most-frequently consumed food products around Europe. At the same time, the project will ensure the food products' nutritional and sensorial qualities, safety and affordability for both industry and consumers, so as to ensure wide adoption of the project technology at a European scale.

TeRiFiQ is addressing several major food categories. Among dairy products, soft, medium and hard cheeses are being studied with a view to reducing the sodium content (up to 30%) and at the same time to improving the quality of the fat content. For cooked sausages, dry sausages and sauces, the objective is to reduce saturated fat and sodium by up to 50%. For bakery products (muffin type), the target is to reduce both the sugar and fat content by up to 25%.

In the project's research, reduced fat will be achieved by adapting its dispersion in food using cryo-crystallised fat and multiple emulsions. Fat quality will be improved by partially substituting animal fat with vegetable fat containing poly-unsaturated fatty acids. For sugar, only natural sweeteners will be tested as external substitutes. Sodium reduction strategies are being investigated using encapsulated or microcrystalline salt.

The partners will test the new product formulations for consumer acceptance and optimise them for sensorial (e.g. taste) and perception (e.g. appearance) features. The investigations will provide information on relationships between temporal flavour release, temporal perception information and food matrix composition, and how these might be combined. These new reformulations will be demonstrated at an industrialscale in a large number of SMEs, and the project will ensure full technology transfer to the industrial sector.

Website of project:

Coordinator: Christian Salles,

Organisation: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) France,