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Nestlé Product Technology Centre - Articles and news items

Winning consumer preference via extrusion cooking of nutritious cereals

Issue 2 2014  •  1 May 2014  •  Frédéric Robin, Christophe Dautremont and Hélène Chanvrier, Nestlé Product Technology Center

Extrusion cooking is extensively used by the food industry to deliver light and delightful cereal-based products. Improving the nutrition of extruded cereal products while maintaining consumer preference can be achieved by incorporating health-promoting ingredients. These nutritious food components have a significant impact on a product’s organoleptic properties and can lead to major technical challenges. Providing a winning taste, texture and appearance for consumers can only be achieved through a deep understanding of the impact of these new ingredients on the parameters driving consumer preference…

Enrobing in the confectionery industry

Issue 1 2014  •  5 March 2014  •  Ramana Sundara, Ángel Máñez and Josélio Vieira, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

Enrobing is a process that involves covering a confection or snack with chocolate or chocolate coatings. Traditionally, this process was slow and involved manually dipping the pieces into melted chocolate by hand. As demand for chocolate-coated sweets increased, it became impractical or impossible to employ enough people to dip sweets into melted chocolate to keep up with production demand. Enrobing can be carried out with chocolate or compound coatings (compound coating is a replacement product made from a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners). An advantage of compound coatings is that they may set faster and no tempering (the process in which chocolate masses are thermally treated to produce a small fraction of homogeneously dispersed, highly stable fat crystals of the correct type and size) is needed. Some typical examples of enrobed products are shown in Figure 1. They include wafer bars, fondant centres, jellies, nuts, biscuits and ice cream…

Quality sentries: Some trends in chocolate manufacturing

Issue 6 2012  •  11 January 2013  •  Ramana Sundara, John Rasburn and Josélio Vieira, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

In-line control elements are an increasing development in the pursuit of efficient processes in a wide range of manufacturing sectors. Advances in sensor technology and computing power are now providing instruments which can greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of manufacturing, and at a cost which is moderate in comparison with other costs, such as raw material prices and fuel costs. In the food sector, there are two clear incentives for pursuing in-line monitoring capabilities. Firstly, they raise the quality of the foods produced and secondly, they reduce the waste of valuable raw materials. Increasing commodity prices in regard to food ingredients give particular importance to this aspect.

Confectionery manufacture is a case in point. In chocolate confectionery, the quality of the product is paramount for ensuring an enjoyable eating experience for the consumer. Consumer preference tests are used to determine to what extent the target consumers like each sample and why (Figure 1). Careful processing and selection of ingredients are therefore necessary to produce desirable sensory attributes1 (Figure 1).

New and emerging sources of vegetable fats and oils

Issue 6 2012  •  11 January 2013  •  Guillermo Napolitano, Expert Scientist, Department of Science and Nutrition, Nestlé Product Technology Center

The science and technology of fats and oils is an extraordinarily active field for a number of good reasons. First, it includes a diverse collection of raw materials for a constantly evolving food industry. In addition, fats and oils ingredients influence every aspect of foods, from the mundane caloric content to the sophisticated mechanisms of metabolic regulation of functional ingredients or the crystal structure of a glossy chocolate.

The fat and oil industry provides the raw materials to cover all those needs for an increas – ingly demanding food sector (including the final consumer) using a discrete number of commodity and specialty oils. This is aided by modification techniques, such as hydrogenation (today mostly full compared to partial in the recent past), fractionation, interesterification and blending. The genetic modification of oleaginous crops, which has been practiced since ancient times through classical breeding, along with biotechnology and genetic manipulation are renewed additions to the tool kit of available technologies. This potential for innovation is exploited and reinforced by the market by constantly demanding new functionalities from oils or new oils for old functionalities.

Unravelling chocolate aroma

Issue 4 2012  •  6 September 2012  •  Angela Ryan and Alison Hemesley, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

It’s been almost 500 years since Aztec Emperor Moctezuma reputedly introduced Hernando Cortéz to his favourite cocoa-based beverage Xocolatl, but our demand for cocoa and more recently chocolate has continued to grow ever since. Today, world cocoa production is estimated to be 3990 million metric tons and the major cocoa producing countries are Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Brazil1.

A schematic of the chocolate manufacturing process is shown in Figure 1. The first stage, which is critical to the flavour of the final product, is fermentation, which triggers spontaneously on opening cocoa pods. This exposes the beans and surrounding mucilaginous pulp to attack by microorganisms initiating the formation of flavour compounds and precursors. Ethanol, acetic acid and lactic acids are formed, sucrose is hydrolysed to the reducing sugars glucose and fructose, proteins are degraded leading to an increase in the concentration of peptides and free amino acids and in addition, soluble poly – phenols, such as epicatechin, polymerise leading to a reduction in astringency2,3. However, if pods are harvested before the beans are sufficiently mature, the precursors cannot be formed and little flavour will develop during the later stages of processing2.

The science behind the flat wafer baking process

Issue 4 2012  •  5 September 2012  •  Venkata R. Sundara, Group Leader for Aerated and Filled Confectionery, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

Wafers offer a unique sensorial experience to consumers. Driven by consumer trends towards products which are lighter but still indulgent, the wafer category is expected to grow further. Wafers are seldom eaten alone and are often combined with components with a contrasting texture, such as chocolate or ice cream. Wafers are intermediate components used in the manufacture of several top-selling confectionery products. The crispness and lightness contrasts well with soft cream or chocolate. The level of crispness and its retention over shelf life are critical parameters for the quality of wafer based confectionery products.

Wafers have been manufactured and marketed successfully for decades. During this time, minor additions/modifications have been made to suit local requirements. Much literature relates to bread or biscuit baking which has little relevance to wafer1. The architecture of a flat wafer shows gas bubbles dispersed in a solid phase (Figure 2). The nonhomogeneity of gas cell size, shape and distribution suggests that a wafer can be considered as ‘anisotropic foam’. The arrange – ment of solids and gas cells in solid foam such as a wafer determines its mechanical properties and can therefore influence sensory perception2. In order to vary and control wafer texture, it is important to understand the science behind the structure formation during the baking process.

Beverage Supplement 2011

Issue 6 2011, Supplements  •  5 January 2012  •  Jos Oostendorp, Packaging Specialist, Royal Grolsch Brewery / Josef Kerler and Luigi Poisson, Aroma and Taste Modulation Group, Nestlé Product Technology Centre / Jim Wilson, Director Product Commercialisation, Coca-Cola Refreshments

Has the role of packaging changed? (Jos Oostendorp, Packaging Specialist, Royal Grolsch Brewery)
Understanding coffee aroma for new product development (Josef Kerler and Luigi Poisson, Aroma and Taste Modulation Group, Nestlé Product Technology Centre)
Taking a closer look at soft drink processing (Jim Wilson, Director Product Commercialisation, Coca-Cola Refreshments)

Chocolate aeration – Art or science?

Issue 4 2011  •  6 September 2011  •  Josélio Vieira, Principal Research Scientist, Nestlé Product Technology Centre and Venkata R. Sundara, Group Leader for Aerated and Filled Confectionery, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

Bubble inclusion into chocolate results in a foam in which the gas is dispersed in the continuous fat phase of mainly cocoa butter, which also contains sugar, cocoa and milk powder particles. Aeration allows chocolate products to have a low weight in relation to volume, thereby reducing the calories in a portion (albeit not by weight). It also imparts a unique texture on the final product. A vast array of different aerated chocolate products can be found worldwide (Figure 1).

Aeration of chocolate has been widely used commercially since the patenting of an aerated product in 19351. Since then, several methods to introduce bubbles into chocolate have been developed2. Despite the various methods of including bubbles in chocolate, the science of bubble formation and stabilisation is still poorly understood.

Nestlé confectionery Journey with colours

Issue 6 2010  •  15 December 2010  •  Steve Tolliday, Principal Product Technologist, Nestlé Product and Technology Centre

Colour in food is important. It is one of the drivers for the consumer in selecting specific foods and when combined with flavour and texture, adds to the overall enjoyment of the consumption of food. Historically, confectionery has been full of bright, exciting colours to ensure its appeal to the young and the young at heart. Confectionery needs to be fun, exciting, bright and cheerful to fulfil the consumers’ expectations; poor colour equals a dull product in both senses of the word.

Many of our Nestlé products have colour as one of their key attributes. Products such as Smarties, Rowntrees, Allens, Jojo and Wonka have created a consumer expectation for these brands which have colour at their heart.

Testing the effectiveness of packaging sterilisation: Truth or faith?

Issue 3 2010, Past issues  •  30 June 2010  •  Jan Bruecklmeier, Senior Aseptic Specialist, Nestlé

The effectiveness of packaging sterilisation devices in an aseptic filling system is often tested during start up and validation of the system. Some publications even classify the different aseptic filling systems with their average logarithmic reduction rate (ALR). According to different publications, the testing seems to be quite easy and the result is a precise parameter, characterising the process. But is this the truth?

The benchmark in quality for dehydrated food products

Issue 3 2010, Past issues  •  30 June 2010  •  Daniel Donhowe, Expert Engineer, Nestlé PTC Marysville

Freeze drying is considered the benchmark in quality for many dehydrated food products. But is it worth the higher cost compared to cheaper air drying technologies such as spray or fluid bed drying? Freeze drying is a process that usually provides several benefits over competing technologies, such as improved flavour and aroma, better retention of nutrients (vitamins, bioactive compounds, etc), ‘natural’ or attractive shape, more natural colour after rehydration, better rehydration – especially for large pieces (e.g. fruits and vegetables) and better solubility for larger particles (e.g. instant coffee).

Food processing contaminants: knowledge is key

Issue 2 2008, Past issues  •  13 June 2008  •  Richard H. Stadler and Viviane Theurillat, Nestlé Product Technology Centre, Switzerland

Food processing can be considered as a set of practices – using defined technologies and techniques, either individually or in combination, to transform raw foods / food ingredients into food ready for consumption. Some basic techniques of food processing are for example drying, curing, smoking, fermentation, canning, pasteurisation (by heat or irradiation), freezing/lyophilization and aseptic filling. Many of these processes are practiced in a domestic environment, i.e. in our everyday preparation of food in the home, or by the food manufacturing industry with the goal towards the production of foods that are nutritional, safe, tasty, and of consistently high quality.

What changes occur in chocolate during conching?

Issue 1 2006, Past issues  •  9 March 2006  •  Mike Gray, Manufacturing Support Advisor, Nestle Product Technology Centre

Chocolate conching is not a precisely defined process and there are still elements of skill in producing a good flavoursome chocolate with the right viscosity for making sweets.

This article is an introduction to what goes on in the conche and demonstrates how complex a process conching is. A conche, so named because early versions were similar in shape to the seashell, is a mixer specifically designed for making chocolate.

 

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