New EU-funded project looks to develop, test satiety-enhanced foods that can help control appetite, manage weight, combat obesity

BRUSSELS , April 3, 2012 (press release) – A new and innovative EU-funded project that aims to develop and test new food products that fill you up quicker has just got underway. Satiety-enhanced food can help control appetite, manage weight and combat obesity, and the SATIN ('SATiety Innovation') project aims to bring together energy intake and weight control experts from academia and industry to produce new food products using the latest processing innovation techniques.

With a EUR 5,992,880 funding boost from the 'Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the SATIN researchers, who hail from Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and the United Kingdom, will look at the biological processes in the stomach and the brain that make us feel full.

The researchers from the participating institutions, which include leading research institutes, large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food and retail industry that specialise in novel food formulation and production, aim to determine whether this approach works for weight management.

Obesity is a major public health issue facing the EU and reducing it is a priority for all European governments. In the United Kingdom, for example, it is estimated that 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children will be obese by 2050.

Obesity has a severe impact on people's health, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and heart and liver disease - not to mention the increased costs to health services as a result of obesity: in several European countries the cost of obesity has already reached 5% of public health expenditure.

Professor Jason Halford, from coordinating institution the University of Liverpool, says: 'People who are obese find successful weight loss and maintenance notoriously difficult. Obesity is typically a consequence of overconsumption driven by an individual's natural sensitivity to food stimuli and the pleasure derived from eating high fat and high sugar foods. Obese and overweight people are less likely to feel full after eating, partly because of the energy-dense foods they prefer have a reduced impact on gastrointestinal hormone signals that help promote feelings of satisfaction and fullness. SATIN aims to draw upon our improved understanding of appetite expression - how the foods we eat affect eating behaviour and appetite. If we can produce foods that fill people up quicker and for longer and taste good then we can help moderate appetite whilst maintaining a healthy balanced diet.'

SATIN will use advanced food processing technologies (such as advanced forms of fermentation, vacuum technology, enzyme application, emulsification, ultra-filtration, drying, sublimation and freezing, heat treatment, protein modification and encapsulation) to modify the structure of the foods which accelerate satiation, enhance satiety and reduce appetite.

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