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Understanding Smart Foods June 2002 © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Smart Foods What are smart foods? Smart foods are those that have been developed through the invention of new or improved processes, for example, as a result of man-made materials/ingredients or human intervention; in other words, not naturally occurring changes. Smart foods may: have a function, other than that of providing energy and nutrients; perform a particular function never achieved by conventional foods; have been developed for specialised applications, but some eventually become available for general use. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Smart Foods Smart foods include: 1. Modified starches. 2. Functional foods, e.g. cholesterol lowering spreads, probiotic yogurts, fortified eggs. 3. Meat analogues, e.g. textured vegetable protein (TVP), myco-protein and tofu. 4. Encapsulation technology, e.g. encapsulated flavours in confectionery 5. Modern biotechnology, e.g. soy bean, tomato plant, modified enzymes, e.g. chymosin. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Modified Starch Starches that have been altered to perform additional functions.. Modified starch is used as a fat replacer in low-fat meals. To prevent ‘drip’ after a pie is defrosted, modified starch is used in the sauce. Pre-gelatinised starch is used to thicken instant desserts without heat. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Modified Starch The noodles in ‘pot snacks’ are pre-gelatinised, so boiled water will re-heat and 'cook' them. Modified starch is used in ‘cup-a- soups’ to improve mouth-feel, thicken the drink/sauce with the addition of boiled water, and blend uniformly with no lumps. Starches that have been altered to perform additional functions.. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Functional Foods Some eggs contain Omega-3 fatty acids, known to benefit heart health. Specially formulated spreads help to lower cholesterol levels in the body. Probiotic drinks are designed to improve the health of the large bowel. Foods that contain an ingredient that gives health promoting properties. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Encapsulation Technology Jellybeans use encapsulated flavours for enhanced sensory appeal. Specially formulated ‘sports’ bars are fortified with encapsulated nutrients. Some breads use encapsulated leavening agents to prevent premature release and reaction. The coating of a particle with an outer shell. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Genetically Modified Foods Potatoes can be altered to reduce the absorption of fat during frying. Maize is modified to control pests, minimising crop damage. Chymosin, a modified enzyme, is used to produce ‘vegetarian’ cheese. Specific changes to a plant or animal at a genetic level. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
Meat Analogues Myco-protein is used in fillets to provide a ‘chicken like’ texture. Tofu absorbs flavours, so is used as a meat alternative in stir-fries. TVP is used in vegetarian shepherd’s pie to provide the main source of protein. Ingredients that mimic the organoleptic properties of meat. © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
British Nutrition Foundation For further information, access: © British Nutrition Foundation 2002
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