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A support tool for the formulation of protein and/or fibre-enriched biscuits

The formulation of biscuits that are low-fat and low-sugar but also protein and fibre-enriched, constitutes a real technological challenge.  The partners in the ANR BISENS project have developed unique support tools for this formulation, one of which is based on evaluating the sensory characteristics of the texture of moulded biscuit dough.

A tool for the formulation of high-protein biscuits and / or fiber. © INRA
By Anne Perraut - DPE/INRA
Updated on 02/24/2014
Published on 09/12/2013

New formulations to comply with PNNS guidelines

In its second National Nutrition and Health Programme (PNNS 2, 2006-2010), the French authorities focused on the issue of the foods supplied to consumers, notably asking for close involvement of the food industry in improving their nutritional quality.  In addition to this quality, the control and regulation of appetite are emerging challenges to limit the quantity of calories ingested.  Together with satiation, satiety is the principal mechanism that has been proposed to regulate food intake.  In this respect, proteins or fibres appear to be more effective than carbohydrates and lipids in inducing satiety.  In the context of the ANR BISENS project, the scientists have focused on developing low-fat, low-sugar and fibre- and protein-enriched biscuits in order to achieve an optimum satiety potential. However, these new formulations are not without consequences for the manufacturing process…

A technological challenge

The structural and/or textural properties of biscuit dough, linked to their water content, governs their ability to be shaped. The incorporation of fibres and proteins in rotary dough causes technical hurdles that affect dough processability. Indeed, during dough mixing, fibres and proteins absorb some of the water necessary to create the dough, and this prevents the formation of dough that is suitable for subsequent forming.
Fibre and protein enrichment requires an increase in the water content of the dough, which has a negative impact on biscuit quality by initiating a gluten network which causes the biscuits to be harder. It is therefore essential to determine precisely the minimal amount of water that needs to be added that will not affect biscuit moulding and product quality. Sensory descriptors that can formalise the corrections required to the water content in biscuit dough enriched in fibres and/or proteins has therefore been developed.
This sensory decision-support tool for formulation includes a list of sensory descriptors that can be evaluated during and after mixing.  This sensory tool thus allows optimised  dough hydration corrections  before the shaping and cooking stages, which saves time within the manufacturing chain.

An operational tool

This tool has been validated at both the laboratory and industrial pilot plant scales, using 50 recipes, 85% of which were found to be applicable without any further optimisation.  Tested on trainees with only limited experience, it also proved to be easy to use by all.
This tool has already served to pose questions to technologists regarding their practices, and has enabled verbalization of their know-how, and notably how they adjust the input variables of the rotary moulder as a function of their effects on output variables.
The tool could also be integrated in a biscuit-making test for moulded doughs, with the development of instrumental characterisation (particularly a rheological test), in order to predict more precisely the "moulding" behaviour of this type of dough.

Find out more

  • Villemejane C., Roussel P., Berland S., Aymard P., Michon C. 2013. Technological and sensorry tools to characterize the consistency and performance of fibre-enriched biscuit doughs. Journal of Cereal Science 57 (2013) 551-559

On the subject of

The BISENS project

The objective of the ANR BISENS (BIScuit Enrichi et Satiété, or Enriched Biscuits and Satiety) project, funded by the French Research Agency (ANR) in the context of its ALIA 2008 call for proposals, is to develop biscuits that comply with complex and multi-criteria specifications: an improved nutritional profile, "acceptable" technological behaviour and organoleptic properties, and validated benefits regarding satiety.  Satiety, or a delayed return of hunger sensations, is itself influenced by the nutritional composition of a food and its physicochemical characteristics (linked notably to the formulation of a product, the processes used during manufacture and its evolution during digestion), and also by physiological, psychological (pleasure, appreciation, etc.)  and environmental factors (product claims,  cultural and family influences). In this context, the project aims to develop a multidisciplinary and integrative approach in order to determine the impact of physiological and psychological factors on hunger sensations and food intake using separate but complementary protocols applied to the same food prototype.
More information: http://archive2010.aliments-sante.fr/cms/fichiers/4871-bisens_f.pdf