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Texturisation of dehydrated snacks

18 August 2016  •  Author(s): Clara Talens, Food Researcher, / Izaskun Pérez, Senior Researcher / Raquel Rodríguez Senior Researcher, AZTI

In the analysis of consumer trends, it is essential to go beyond examining patterns of behaviour. The scope of research must be broadened to include the lifestyle of consumers in order to understand their motivations and the effect of their lifestyle on consumption trends. AZTI have been extensively analysing these trends1 for some time. As such, they have been classified into nine types: Transient Food, Sustain Food, Better for Me, My Universe, Simple & Smart, Local, Eatertainment, Social & Sharing, and Emphatic/Human.

Texturisation of dehydrated snacks

The tendencies in the consumption of dehydrated snacks are most closely related to three of these trends: Better for Me, Transient Food and Sustain Food. The Better for Me trend reflects one of the basic human desires: to achieve a high quality of life through an optimal state of health and wellness, with a clear focus on the personalisation of diet and lifestyle. The Transient Food trend is concerned with the products and services for consumption on the fly; easily accessible and efficient; such as formulas for breakfast ‘on the go’. The Sustain Food trend arises from the growing consumer awareness that every activity has a direct impact on the environment.

However, none of these trends excludes the pursuit of pleasure or satisfaction of snacking. In this sense, the texture is a key quality attribute contributing to the enjoyment of food and, therefore, directly affects the acceptability of food products.

Crunchy texture: snack-type products

The texture of food is mainly perceived in the mouth but also visually, through touch, or even through sound. Regardless of individual texture preferences, certain foods are instinctively associated with certain textures. Conforming to these expectations often determines the product’s acceptability.

Well-known examples of food–texture association are aperitifs and snacks of crunchy texture. Such snacks are usually made of dehydrated vegetable products (potatoes, corn, pellets or flour dough, etc.) of low moisture content and aerated appearance acquired during dehydration. 

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