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Food and Beverages | Thursday, June 25, 2020
The key is to know the current capabilities, as well as study what technology is available to help evolve products to fit within specific categories and trends. Technology is continually changing, allowing manufacturers with more solutions than ever before.
FREMONT, CA: Driven by demand for convenience, ingredients, and patience, the lines between meals and snacks have become increasingly obscured. As the snack market shed its association with guilty consumption through the introduction of healthier ingredients and more sustainable processing and packaging, there is a need to evaluate the technology required to create the next generation of products that deliver nutritious and authentic snackable moments.
Snacking is gaining popularity as a convenient way to satisfy hunger as well as consume nutrient-rich food that supports mental and physical wellbeing. Conventionally, compared with salty, high-fat foods, savory snack manufacturers are looking for ways to keep delivering the indulgence factor while providing healthier options that come without post-consumption guilt.
Technological Implications of healthier snacks
Adjusting to the nutritional profiles of savory snacks, the adoption of innovative processing methods can make a real difference. With alternative ingredients such as sweeteners and healthier oil varieties, ensuring equipment can handle such elements is a significant consideration.
New ingredients and processes adapting to make snacks healthier have a significant impact on the use of frying technology. Frying methods have emerged to enhance the health credentials of canned snack foods. Vacuum or batch frying, for instance, has the potential to transform the snack industry by creating healthier snacks with lower levels of fat and acrylamide. It potentially occurs when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures for a long time.
In Vacuum frying, the frying vessel is enclosed, and pressure is minimized, meaning that the boiling point of water is decreased to below 100 degrees Celsius. The product is cooked continuously at a low temperature, reduce the formation of acrylamide. The low temperature means the degeneration of the product's surface structure is minimized, lowering the amount of oil absorbed – ultimately minimizing the fat content with a decreased impact on the product quality. When batch frying, the product is cooked for a more extended amount of time at lower temperatures, minimizing both the formation of acrylamide and the oil absorption, thereby creating a healthier end product.