Guelph, Ont. – The University of Guelph unveiled three new food innovations patented by three of its own food science experts.
The GuelphMercury.com reports that representatives from the university and the Ontario Food Cluster introduced the innovations at Anuga, the food trade show that took place in Germany in early October.
A university spokesperson told the GuelphMercury.com that the university is aiming to be more proactive when it comes to finding solutions to various food processing dilemmas.
One of the innovations is for producing cheese.
Arthur Hill, a professor and researcher in the university’s food science department, and his team created a way to blend milk and soy proteins into cheese more effectively.
The process, reports the GuelphMercury.com, creates a product that has a texture and body close to certain kinds of dairy cheese, while reducing the fat and cholesterol content – and the cost of making cheese.
Hill told the GuelphMercury.com that the blending process took about two years, even though blending dairy and soy is not in itself difficult. But blending the two and achieving the properties of conventional soft cheeses was the challenge. Getting the two proteins to coagulate simultaneously was the trick, and that was accomplished through a process that essentially revolves around good timing, reports GuelphMercury.com.
Another innovation focused on incorporating water-soluble ingredients into beverages.
For example, salt and colour can degrade in liquids and negatively affect taste. Bioactive molecules – natural molecules that can have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties – can also be difficult to fully incorporate into foods and beverages, says the GuelphMercury.com.
Behind a solution to this is Milena Corredig, a university food scientist. Corredig developed a water-oil-water emulsion process that can better protect food and beverage ingredients, while improving their release characteristics and allowing for the blending of a wider variety of ingredients.
The third innovation is from Alejandro Marangoni, an expert in functional fats and oils. Marangoni developed a healthier variety of roll-in shortening that eliminates trans fat and saturated fats contained in conventional shortenings by 50 per cent, says the GuelphMercury.com.
The new shortening has applications in the sorts of layered dough used to make products such as croissants and danishes.
Food processors can license these innovations, or technologies, from the university. By licensing the technology, the university benefits from an annual licensing fee, but also establishes relationships with companies that can translate into further research and development, says the GuelphMercury.com.