End of Project reports from the departments comprising the Teagasc Food Research Programme.

Recent Submissions

  • Enhancement of the Nutritional Value and Eating Quality of Beef

    Moloney, Aidan P; Monahan, F.J.; Noci, F.; Murray, B.; Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
    Consumer interest in the nutritional aspects of health has increased interest in developing methods to manipulate the fatty acid composition of ruminant products. Ruminant meats such as beef and lamb are often criticised by nutritionists for having high amounts of saturated fatty acids (S) and low polyunsaturated fatty acids (P).The P:S ratio in beef is approximately 0.1, the ideal being about 0.4. This project is part of a larger EU-supported project entitled Healthy Beef (Enhancing the content of beneficial fatty acids in beef and improving meat quality for the consumer: QLRT-CT-2000-31423). The Teagasc contribution, which was a collaboration between Grange Research Centre and The National Food Centre, focussed on nutritional manipulation of beef cattle. In particular, on exploiting grazing and fishoil as tools to enhance the concentration of “healthy” fatty acids in beef. The conclusions were: • The beneficial effect of a grazed grass-based diet on the fatty acid composition of beef was confirmed • The scale of this beneficial effect is strongly dependent on the duration of grazing • The optimum concentration of beneficial fatty acids was not achieved suggesting that feeding management prior to grazing is important • Grazing influenced beef colour and drip-loss in a durationdependent manner • Animals finished off grass for 40 or 98 days produced meat that was tougher than that from animals finished on silage and concentrates or fed grass for the last 158 days. • Fish oil supplementation enhanced the concentration in beef, of fatty acids that are beneficial to human health • The linear response to increasing level of fish oil consumption indicates scope to further enhance the concentrations of beneficial fatty acids in beef Wilting of grass prior to ensiling did not impact negatively on the overall content of n-3P in muscle, but it increased the concentration of conjugated linoleic acid • Dietary inclusion of fish oil or wilting of grass prior to ensiling did not affect muscle appearance • Fish oil seemed to increase tenderness but only at the high level of inclusion. This merits further study • There was some evidence that wilting of grass prior to ensiling enhanced meat tenderness. This needs to be confirmed.
  • Variation in the quality of meat from Irish steers at the time of slaughter.

    Moloney, Aidan P; Mullen, Anne Maria; Maher, S.C.; Buckley, D.J.; Kerry, J.P. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
    There is no information on the variation in quality, in particular tenderness, that exists in Irish Beef nor is there information on the variation that would remain if optimum practices were imposed at all stages of the beef production chain. Evaluation of the success of measures to improve beef consistency requires information on existing variation and the minimum variation achievable.The objectives of this project were (i) to establish the variation that exists in the quality of meat from Irish cattle, (ii) to quantify the minimum variation in meat quality that can be achieved in a practical beef production system, (iii) to determine the effects and mechanisms of additional sources of variation. The conclusions from this project are: • The M. longissimus dorsi (loin) was found to be more variable than the M. semimembranosus (topside) for most quality attributes examined (tenderness, sarcomere length and pH). The scale of variation within the loin was similar to that reported by the other research groups within the EU and US. Heifers were more variable than steers for most attributes, while there was no consistent classification effect on the variability of meat quality attributes. • Tenderness was equally variable in meat from genetically similar steers, managed similarly, compared to commercial steers randomly selected from a factory lairage but matched for weight and grade.This was likely a result of both groups being crossbred beef cattle of similar age, fat score, carcass weight and managed identically post-mortem. However, variation in tenderness of both groups was less than that observed in a survey of commercial throughput (experiment 1). This decrease is attributed to better pre-and-post-slaughter handling practices. • The data suggest that selection of sires (within a breed) with better than average conformation has no deleterious effect on the eating quality of beef of their progeny.A more comprehensive comparison of sires within a breed and between breeds is required to confirm the generality of this conclusion. • In a comparison of genotypes, gender and slaughter weights, there was no evidence that variation around the mean value for tenderness differed between breeds or liveweights after 14 days ageing. Bulls were more variable than steers for some quality traits but the variation in tenderness was similar for bulls and steers after 14 days ageing. • While optimising the management of animals during the pre and post-slaughter period reduced variation in tenderness, some residual variation remained. A large percentage of the residual variation in tenderness (Warner Bratzler shear force) after 2 and 7 days post-mortem was explained by proteolysis (breakdown of myofibrillar proteins).Variation in tenderness (Warner Bratzler shear force) after 2 days post-mortem was largely explained by phosphates (energy) and proteolysis, while sensory tenderness was largely explained by phosphates and glycolytic potential. • Further work is required to reduce residual variation in Irish beef and to determine the causes of this variation.
  • Significance of Lactobacilli in Cheddar Cheese

    Cogan, Tim; Beresford, Tom; Drinan, Finbarr; Palles, Tony; Fitzsimons, Nora (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The objectives of this project were to isolate and identify the non-starter lactobacilli in mature Cheddar cheese, identify strains which impart mature flavours to cheese and determine their role in developing cheese flavour. The main conclusions were as follows: Based on an analysis of 18 mature Cheddar cheeses, selected from 7 commercial manufacturers, non-starter lactic acid bacteria typically numbered, as expected, 106-108 per gram and were dominated (97 percent) by Lactobacillus paracasei. Although a small number of strains (typically 1 to 4) was found in each cheese there was considerable strain diversity in cheeses within as well as between manufacturing plants. When selected strains were investigated for survival and flavour enhancement when added (as starter adjuncts) with the normal starter cultures in Cheddar cheese manufacture, it was found that they remained dominant for up to 3 months of ripening. Commercial grading of these cheeses at 3 and 6 months confirmed that the added strains did modify flavour development and one (DPC 4103), in particular, had a beneficial effect. It was confirmed that two selected strains of non-starter lactobacilli were capable of metabolising citrate under the conditions of Cheddar cheese ripening and, consequently, if present in sufficient numbers, would influence flavour development. The work was greatly facilitated by the successful and novel adaptation of a modern rapid molecular technique (RAPD) for species and strain classification. In summary these studies found that one species of lactobacilli (Lb. paracasei) was the dominant non-starter lactic acid bacteria in mature Cheddar cheese. Although a wide variety of strains were identified, only a few were found in any particular cheese, suggesting their likely role in cheese flavour diversity even within the same manufacturing plant. This suggests the potential for flavour control or enhancement through the selective and controlled use of non-starter lactic acid bacteria. Preliminary investigations of the metabolism of those organisms supports this view and a follow-up study now in progress should provide greater clarity on this matter.
  • Coffee-Stability of Agglomerated Whole Milk Powder and other Dairy Creamer Emulsions

    Kelly, Philip M.; Oldfield, D.J.; Teehan, C.M. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The objectives of this project were: (a) to investigate the circumstances that cause milk powders and creamers to fail when added to coffee based beverages; (b) to evaluate the role of processing variables in relation to their thermostabilising effects on milk during drying of coffee whiteners; and (c) to determine the role of emulsion formation on the stability of imitation creamers.
  • Use of Bacteriocins to Improve Cheese Quality and Safety

    Ross, R. Paul; Hill, Colin; Ryan, Maire; Cunniffe, Alan; McAuliffe, Olivia; Murray, Deirdre; O'Keefe, Triona; Rea, Mary (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The objectives of this project were to generate, characterise and exploit a range of novel bacteriocin producing starter cultures to improve both the safety and the quality of fermented dairy foods. The main conclusions were as follows: Lacticin 3147 is a broad spectrum bacteriocin which inhibits a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria including lactobacilli, clostridia and Listeria. The bacteriocin has been purified by chromatographic procedures and has been shown to be composed of two peptides, both of which are required for biological activity. The mechanism of action of lacticin 3147 has been elucidated. The entire plasmid encoding lacticin 3147 has been sequenced and the bacteriocin in distinct from any previously characterised lactococcal bacteriocin. The Food Grade introduction of the bacteriocin genes into cheese starters was carried out. Lacticin 3147 producing starters have been used to control the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes on the surface of mould ripened cheese. Lacticin 3147 producing starters have been used to control the non-starter lactic acid bacteria complement in Cheddar cheese during the ripening process. A novel starter system using a bacteriocin (lactococcin)- producing adjunct has been designed which gives increased cell lysis during Cheddar cheese manufacture while ensuring that efficient acid production is not compromised. In summary these studies have found that naturally occurring antimicrobials such as bacteriocins have a wide range of applications in the food industry for improving both the quality and safety of fermented dairy products.
  • Improving the Quality of Low Fat Cheddar Cheese

    Guinee, Timothy P.; Fenelon, Mark; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Mulholland, E. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The aims of this study were to elucidate the contribution of fat to cheese biochemistry and texture and to improve the texture and flavour of half-fat Cheddar cheese by modifications in make procedure, the addition of a fat mimetic, and/or the use of novel starter cultures/bacterial culture adjuncts. The main conclusions were as follows: A 'Moorepark Process' has been established for the production of half-fat Cheddar cheese with improved sensory acceptability. The flavour and texture of half-fat (17% w/w) Cheddar was improved by modification of the cheesemaking procedure and/or ripening conditions and through the use of novel starter cultures and/or bacterial culture adjuncts. Extensive databases have been compiled on: the effects of fat on the compositional, microbiological, biochemical, rheological and sensory properties of, and the yield of, Cheddar cheese. the compositional, biochemical and sensory characteristics of commercial Cheddar cheeses of different fat levels, available on the Irish and UK markets. Reduction in the fat level of Cheddar cheese resulted in a marked deterioration both in texture and flavour due to: increases in cheese hardness and fracture stress, indicating that the cheese became more elastic, tough and less amenable to mastication. a higher ratio of secondary-to-primary proteolysis a reduction in the level of primary proteolysis and an increase in the concentration of hydrophobic peptides which are conducive to bitterness.
  • Effects of Seasonal Variation in Milk Composition on the Quality of Pizza Cheese

    Guinee, Timothy P.; O'Brien, Bernadette; Kelly, P.M.; Connolly, J.F. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The main aims of this study were to investigate the effects of diet and lactation stage on the composition and cheesemaking quality of milk produced under controlled conditions. The main conclusions were as follows: These studies clearly demonstrated that the Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System in conjunction with an objectively standardised cheesemaking process provides a model for year round production of quality Mozzarella cheese. Databases have been established on the effects of diet quantity and quality, and stage of lactation on the composition, processability and cheesemaking characteristics of milk from both Spring- and Autumn-calving herds. Increasing the daily herbage allowance from 16 to 24 kgs DM/cow/day during mid-lactation, resulted in increases in the level of milk casein and cheese yield but had little influence on cheese functionality. Similarily improving diet quality in mid-lactation by reducing the stocking density from 4.3 to 3.8 cows/ha combined with concentrate supplementation (3 kgs/cow/day) had the same effect. Using milk from a Spring-calving herd, produced according to the Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System, in conjunction with an objectively-standardised Mozzarella cheesemaking process, no major problems were encountered during the lactation period 170 - 273 days from calving. Extending the lactation period of the Spring-calving herd from ~ 273 to 286 days resulted in higher cheese moisture (by ~ 2%), softer cheese, and lower chewiness in the melted cheese. A sharp decline in both total protein, casein and lactose in the milk was observed during this period. However the blending of this milk with milk of an Autumn-calving herd overcame these cheesemaking problems. The yield of low moisture Mozzarella cheese (using milks from Spring- or Autumn-calved herds) was positively correlated with milk casein level. The yield of cheese from the Spring-calved herd increased concomitantly with increasing casein level to day 273 of lactation and decreased thereafter as the casein concentration declined. In these studies it was found that easy-to-use tests such as lactose level in the milk and rennet coagulation properties as determined by Formagraph were useful indicators of the suitability of milk for cheesemaking. The Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System, as applied in the late lactation period, was characterised by a high plane of nutrition and a drying-off strategy which ensured a minimum daily milk yield per cow of 9 kg. It resulted in milk of good cheesemaking quality - lactose > 4.25%, and casein > 2.6% and satisfactory rennet coagulation properties - curd firming rate of > 0.15 min ¯¹ curd firmness at 60 min of > 45mm - at the end of lactation.
  • Development of Technologies for Separation and Functional Improvement of Individual Milk Protein Fractions

    Stanton, Catherine; Fitzgerald, R.J.; Donnelly, W.J.; O'Connor, Paula M. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    Milk proteins can be hydrolysed (i.e. fragmented) using proteolytic enzymes to give enhanced functional and nutritional properties. There is an increasing demand for hydrolysed protein ingredients with specific properties for nutrition of individuals with specialised dietary requirements including infants, the critically ill, the immuno-compromised and athletes. Such hydrolysed proteins can be specifically designed to provide distinctive tailor-made solutions to meet customer needs in these areas. This project explored the technologies for the production of two types of hydrolysates i.e. acid-soluble and glutamine-rich. Acid-soluble protein hydrolysates have potential in the fortification of acidic beverages, including soft drinks. Glutamine-rich hydrolysates are suggested as an optimal glutamine source for administration during periods of stress, such as recovery from strenuous exercise, or from surgery. Casein was selected as the protein for development of acid-soluble product and cereal protein for the glutamine-rich product. The main conclusions were as follows: A number of protein hydrolysate products with value added properties and the processes required for their manufacture have been developed and are available for uptake by the food industry. Laboratory investigations identified conditions for the generation of two casein hydrolysates with desirable functional properties. Scale-up conditions for the manufacture of these hydrolysates in the pilot plant were successfully developed. Both hydrolystates were 100% soluble at pH 4.6, exhibited clarity in solution at low pH in clear soft drinks and in caramelised beverages and were stable in solution over a wide temperature range (from 4 to 30ºC) for extended periods. Solutions containing these hydrolysates exhibited no foaming properties and had acceptable sensory properties, being considered as weakly bitter compared to unsupplemented solutions. These performance characteristics make the acid-soluble hydrolysates useful supplements for caramelised beverages, such as colas, and clear soft drinks. Six glutamine-enriched peptide products were produced at laboratory scale using two commercially available enzyme preparations. These products had desirable characteristics such as increased levels of peptide bound glutamine, low free amino acid and free pyroglutamate levels. Pilot plant processes were developed for manufacture of the two glutamine-rich hydrolysates with most suitable compositional properties and these were fully characterised chemically. The manufacturing process was modified to enable industrial scale batches (5,000 litres) to be produced.
  • The Effects of Processing and Ripening on the Quality of Pizza Cheese

    Guinee, Timothy P.; Mulholland, E.; Mullins, C.; Corcoran, M.O.; Auty, Mark (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The main aims of this project were to quantify the changes in fuctionality during maturation of cheese and to develop an understanding of the factors which mediate the development of functionality. The approach to achieving these objectives involved the establishment of a suitable pilot plant production procedure for low moisture Mozzarella, developing and/or adapting existing methods for objective evaluation of the functional properties of pizza cheeses, and evaluating the effects of ripening and variations in cheesemaking conditions (e.g. pH at stretching) on the composition, yield and functionality of low moisture Mozzarella cheese. The main conclusions were as follows: The technology for developing low moisture Mozzarella cheeses, with different compositions and functionalities, via alteration of cheesemaking parameters, has been developed. A database has been established on the storage-related changes that occur in texture, proteolysis and functionality of low moisture Mozzarella cheeses of different compositions. In addition an extensive database on the compositional, biochemical, microstructural, rheological and/or functional properties of different commerical cheeses - low moisture Mozzarella, Cheddar and analogue pizza cheese, has been compiled. The functionality of low moisture Mozzarella changes markedly on storage/ripening at 4ºC. Initially, during the first 5-10 days of storage, the functionality of the baked cheese is poor but then improves on further storage as reflected by reductions in melt time and apparent viscosity (chewiness) and increases in stretchability and flowability. The changes in functionality are mediated by storage-related increases in pH, proteolysis, protein-bound water and free oil in the cheese. On prolonged storage (e.g. > 60 d at 4ºC), the cheese functionality becomes impaired as the shredded cheese develops an increased susceptibility to clumping/balling which makes it difficult to dispense the cheese onto the pizza pie and achieve a uniform surface distribution. Moreover, the baked cheese tends to exude excess free oil and loses its desired level of chewiness attaining a 'soupy' consistency. Novel methods were developed/adapted to objectively quantify functionality in the raw (susceptibility of shredded cheese to clump) and cooked (stretchability, chewiness, viscoelasticity) cheeses.
  • Development and Application of Strategies to Generate Bacteriophage Resistant Strains for Use in Milk Fermentation Processes

    Ross, R.Paul; Fitzgerald, G.F.; Coffey, A.; Coakley, M.; O'Sullivan, D. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The objectives of this project were firstly, the identification of natural phage resistance systems for exploitation, secondly, the development of methodologies to utilise these systems to improve the bacteriophage resistance of starter strains for use in milk fermentation processes, and thirdly, the actual application of these methodologies to improving starter strains. The main conclusions were as follows: Three new natural plasmid (DNA)-associated bacteriophage resistance systems were identified at Moorepark. The detailed genetic makeup of the phage resistance plasmid (pMRC01) was elucidated. Bacteriophages currently evolving in the industrial cheese-making environment were monitored to facilitate the judicious choice of phage resistance systems for use in commercial starter cultures which can more effectively target the documented problematic phage types. Two highly virulent phages targeting important cheese starters were identified in the industrial cheese-making environment. A reliable food-grade method to facilitate the transfer of phage resistance systems to cheese-making starter strains was developed. This is based on bacteriocin immunity-linked phage resistance. Phage resistant cheese starter cultures were developed through natural selection and by molecular manipulation using phage resistance plasmids. The phage resistance plasmid pMRC01 was introduced to 31 cheese starter strains.
  • Establishment of Enabling Technology for Manufacture of Selected Types of Continental and Speciality Cheeses

    Wilkinson, M.G.; Sheehan, Jeremiah J.; Guinee, Timothy P.; Cogan, T.M. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The objectives in the project were the development of the science and technology for speciality cheese manufacture, identification and overcoming of the technical constraints to the manufacture of soft speciality cheeses in Ireland and the development of Moorepark Technology Limited (MTL) pilot plant as an integrated, flexible pre-commercial manufacturing platform with which to evaluate the market for speciality cheese.
  • Development and Evaluation of Caseins/Caseinates for use as Ingredients in Food Products

    Mehra, Raj; Walsh, Daniel; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Kelly, Phil (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The overall objective of this project was to investigate the effects of key processing steps in the industrial production of acid casein on the characteristics and functionality of sodium caseinate with particular emphasis on analytical/functionality testing and seasonal/lactational effects on the original milk. The main conclusions were as follows: The most significant result indicates that drying and concentration after washing of the acid casein curd are responsible for alterations in the structure of casein, which result in sodium caseinates with different properties. This was confirmed in the case of two acid casein plants investigated which showed similar results even though using different washing and drying technologies. This difference due to the drying step may be further amplified depending upon whether commercial sodium caseinate is manufactured from acid casein in the dried or wet curd state. The analytical and functional testing methodology adapted in our laboratory proved effective in predicting the effects of processing steps on the functionality of sodium caseinate. In particular, the ability to detect the presence of aggregate formation was particularly important. The database generated subsequently helped an acid casein manufacturer in modifying its process(es) to manufacture experimental sodium caseinate for specific food end-uses. Progress was greatly facilitated by the collaboration of individual manufacturers in the sourcing of problem samples from previously manufactured codes, and facilitating access to process plant during production. In a commercial application of the database, confidential work was undertaken on behalf of a client. Experimentally-produced sodium caseinate ingredients were evaluated using our adapted functionality testing methods and based on the results, the company was able to modify its process(es) to produce sodium caseinates with functionality for specific food end-users. It was concluded that while processing parameters in the production of acid casein can have a significant effect on the functional behaviour of the resultant sodium caseinate, the ability to assess this change in functional behaviour, through relevant functional testing, was equally important.
  • Assessment of Food Ingredient Functionality using Laser Microscopy

    Keogh, M.K.; Auty, Mark (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The objectives of this project were, to establish a confocal microscopy facility at Moorepark, to develop suitable methodology for the examination of food products and ingredients, to apply confocal microscopy techniques to food research projects and to use the above technological expertise for commercial applications in the Irish Food Industry. The confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) facility is now established and is fully integrated into the Teagasc research program at Moorepark. The new Confocal Microscopy Service has attracted significant commercial interest and client work is expanding. Results show that confocal laser scanning microscopy is a valuable technique for assessing the functionality of food ingredients in a wide range of food products, as well as being a powerful problem-solving tool. Work is ongoing to develop further specific ingredient localisation techniques, and to promote commercial awareness of the service. Confocal laser scanning microscopy offers a unique contribution to product research and development in the Irish food industry.
  • Dairy Ingredients in Chocolate

    Keogh, M.K.; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Twomey, M.; O'Brien, N.; Kennedy, B.; Gorry, C. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The main objective was to assess and control the contribution of various ingredient components to chocolate behaviour and to optimise ingredients for specific chocolate applications. A key aim, therefore, was to understand the role of composition and particle structure and to produce spray dried powders with a functionality in chocolate as close as possible to roller dried powders. By demonstrating how the powder properties affect chocolate, it should be possible to control the functional properties of the powders to meet any powder or chocolate specification. Novel powder compositions indicated by this work should also be useful to chocolate makers. The ability to make chocolate under test conditions and to assess the role of milk powders or other ingredients has been put in place for the first time in Ireland. Previous knowledge of milk seasonality and of powder technology has provided a basis for understanding variations in milk powder functionality in chocolate. Spray dried powders with mean free fat values of 50 to 94%, particle sizes of 30 to 65 mm and vacuole volumes of 0.0 to 3.9 ml/100g were produced from milks of varying composition but under the same processing conditions. Advances were made in analysing powder structure through microscopy, particle size and occluded air measurement. Valuable new information has been generated on the changes in free fat, solid fat content, particle size and occluded air in powders. Explanations were provided for the first time for the complex effects of these properties on chocolate viscosity and yield value. This information will also make a positive contribution to other projects in the milk powder area. Good contacts have been established with multinational manufacturers and with producers of milk powder for chocolate.
  • Influence of Enterococci and Thermophilic Starter Bacteria on Cheddar Cheese Flavour

    Beresford, Tom; Cogan, T.; Wallace, J.; Drinan, D.; Tobin, S.; Piveteau, P.; Carroll, N.; Deasy, B. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    This project set out to identify suitable enterococci and thermophilic starter strains which could be added to the cheese during manufacture (as starter adjuncts) with the specific aims of enhancing flavour during ripening as well as facilitating flavour diversity - a trait sought by many commercial Cheddar companies. This project confirmed the potential of thermophilic lactic acid strains to affect flavour when used as starter adjuncts in Cheddar cheese manufacture. Their use can also lead to the development of novel flavours. Many adjunct cultures proposed to-date to enhance Cheddar flavour are composed of strains of lactococcal starter, selected for their flavouring capacity. However, application of such strains in industry would lead to increased probability of phage attack on the primary starter. On the other hand, thermophilic lactic acid strains are phage unrelated to conventional starter and thus would not lead to the introduction of starter specific phage into the cheese plant. A thermophilic strain from the Moorepark collection (DPC 4571) was shown to have major commercial potential as a flavour enhancer.
  • Development of a Range of Encapsulated Milk Fat Products

    Keogh, M.K.; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Neville, D.P.; Kennedy, B.; Gorry, C. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
    The aims of this research were to determine the effects of milk composition (fat, whey protein, lactose and salts) and process (homogenisation) factors on the formation of emulsions and microencapsulated powder particles and to relate these to the properties of the powder, especially susceptibility to fat oxidation. The effect of composition, using sodium caseinate and lactose on the production of high fat powders was also studied. Finally, new developments in microencapsulated milk powders were undertaken in collaboration with industry using sodium caseinate and lactose. Overall, the microencapsulation process should provide a technique to extend the shelf-life of sensitive fats and flavours and to produce high fat powders for a range of end-uses. The major components of the emulsions used to make the microencapsulated powders influenced fat globule diameter and stability, but the minor salt components also affected globule size and stability. Free flowing high fat (70%) powders with sodium caseinate and lactose as encapsulants were manufactured using a tall-form Niro spray dryer with fluidised beds. A flavoured ingredient using a by-product flavoured fat as the flavour agent was made using the same encapsulants. Microencapsulated powders were incorporated into baked goods as multi-functional ingredients. They increased loaf volumes and improved handling and processability of the dough, thereby extending the product range for fat and other dairy ingredients used for baking. Microencapsulated 80% fat blends were manufactured for biscuit formulations to overcome the handling problems associated with bulk fats. This sub-project also gave rise to a leading role in a EU FAIR project on the microencapsulation of fish oil for use in functional foods using milk components as the sole encapsulants.
  • The Application of On-line Sensors and Novel Control Technologies for Food Processing

    O’Callagan, Donal; O'Donnell, C.; Mulholland, E.; Duffy, A. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The objective of this research was to apply on-line continuous sensors in food processing, in particular in cheese and milk powder manufacture, in order to improve process control, for example, by achieving higher quality, increased yields, reduced losses and less downgrading of product. This project focused on technologies for monitoring rheologyrelated parameters. The main conclusions were as follows: * Seven systems for monitoring curd formation in cheesemaking were evaluated in the laboratory. * Two on-line systems for monitoring curd firmness (hot-wire and NIR reflectance) have been deployed in a commercial cheese plant with promising results. * Experimental results demonstrated that NIR reflectance / transmission probes have a potential for on-line application in cheesemaking. Despite the difference in scale, the commercial sensors compared well with the cheesemaker s observation of curd firming and look promising as an objective means of predicting curd cut time in an industrial cheese plan. * A detailed knowledge of the rheological variation in cheese curd has been developed and a means of investigating factors which influence the rheology of cheese curd (e.g. effect of heat treatment or fortification of cheesemilk) has been determined. * Technologies available for monitoring concentrate viscosity changes in the production of milk powder have been assembled at pilot scale, and initial trials have been encouraging. Further evaluation of the MTL plant to assess on-line performance, ruggedness and cleanability are planned.
  • Up-grading of low value meats and by-products for use in consumer foods.

    Kenny, Tony; Desmond, Eoin; Ward, Patrick (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
    The investigation was concerned with the up-grading of: (i) connective tissue material in the form of beef membrane, pig rind and turkey skin; (ii) muscle material from low-value cuts and from offals such as beef heart; (iii) heart muscle, by extrusion processing; (i) An emulsified material from beef membrane and beef replaced up to 5% of lean meat in corn beef and up to 10% in beefburgers without impairing cooked yield and eating quality. A collagen emulsion paste (CEP) from pig rind replaced up to 5% of lean meat in ham prepared from diced meat, and between 2 and 5% in ham prepared from whole muscles without reduction in cooked yield, texture, appearance and eating quality. Turkey skin was minced, chopped and incorporated at 10, 15 and 20% levels in a mix with turkey leg meat, which was used to make battered and breaded re-formed steaklets. Steaks containing up to 20% of emulsified skin were similar to control samples in flavour, juiciness and overall acceptability. An antioxidant may be required to prevent rancidity during frozen storage. (ii) Yields of surimi-like material, prepared by water-extraction, sieving and centrifuging, were 16% from lean of topside of beef (used as control for comparison), 39% from beef heart, 17% from pork mechanically recovered meat, 11% from beef weasand and less than 5% from beef cheek meat. The beef heart surimi was studied for its gelation properties and for its performance as an ingredient replacing lean meat in frankfurters and in beefburgers at levels between 3 and 15%. In frankfurters the addition of the surimi reduced cook loss and increased tenderness. For overall eating quality the frankfurters with 7 or 10% of surimi were preferable, and those with 15% equal, to those with none. In beefburgers cook loss was decreased from 32 to 25% by the addition of 15% surimi. Other results were similar to those for frankfurters, showing that the surimi could be added at 10 to 15% level without impairing texture or flavour. (iii) Cold extrusion processing of beef heart muscle with the aim of increasing its functionality showed that gelation properties of the material were not improved by extrusion compared to bowl chopping; moreover, the extruded product had a strong odour and dark colour.
  • Ingredient Development using a Pilot-Scale Tall-Form Spray Drier

    Kelly, Philip M; Kelly, J.; Harrington, D. (Teagasc, 1998-02-01)
    The main objectives of the project were to establish relationships between process variables and product physicochemical/functional characteristics in the course of processing and drying new dairy-based ingredients such as high-fat and protein-rich products in regular and agglomerated forms. By establishing processing protocols, R&D users of the ingredient drying facilities of Moorepark Technology Ltd may be able to predict the process variables necessary for desired end-product specifications to be achieved, and thus make experimentation more efficient and cost effective, as well as facilitate small scale production runs and sample preparation for market development purposes. Particular emphasis was placed on the development of high fat cream and fat-filled powders, flavour-delivery systems and protein-enriched ingredients. The major achievement of this project is that it is now possible to confidently select the appropriate processing conditions during the spray drying of ingredients in order to attain desired end-product specifications. Based on the use of the newly-installed Tall-form drier, the project succeeded in correlating the effects of process parameters of this technicallyadvanced pilot plant with the physicochemical properties of powders containing varying fat (20-80%) and protein contents. In general, the physicochemical characteristics of fat-filled and cream-filled powders with similar fat contents were similar except for higher solubility index values (range 0.1-0.6) in the case of the former particularly in the range 26-28% fat. Furthermore, the free fat content of powders may now be controlled much more precisely using an appropriate combination of total fat, atomiser nozzle selection and post-drying blending.
  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy in the Food Industry: A Tool of Quality Management.

    Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 1999-03-01)
    Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a rapid, non-destructive analytical technique which has been used in the food and agriculture industries for almost 20 years. Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to adopt this method for national trading purposes and the grain trade has used it for off-farm and in-process analysis since 1981. However, other sectors have been slower to realise its potential and as part of a process of demonstrating the role which it may play in monitoring quality in a range of food industry applications, a programme of research and development has been on-going within Teagasc and its predecessor An Foras Talúntais. NIR spectroscopy provides the food processor with information. This information may describe how much of a given substance is present in a mixture or how the overall quality of the substance compares to a reference material e.g. a previous batch of raw material, finished goods or a competitor’s product. This report provides some examples of precompetitive R&D on representative qualitative and quantitative problems in a range of foods and food ingredients. The use of NIR spectra collected within 24 hours of slaughter to predict beef tenderness 14 days later shows considerable promise. Non-destructive monitoring of flesh composition in farmed salmon has paved the way for the efficient use of expensive feed materials while the content of each species in binary mixtures of minced beef and lamb has been accurate enough to suggest the use of NIR spectroscopy as a rapid screening tool by regulatory agencies, food processors and retailers. Classification of a range of food ingredients (including skim milk powder and flour) into one of a number of functionally-discrete categories has been successfully achieved with levels of accuracy high enough to warrant immediate industry utilisation i.e. greater than 90% for skim milk powders and 97% in the case of flour. Species confirmation in a number of raw minced meats (chicken, turkey, pork, beef and lamb) has been achieved with over 90% accuracy in feasibility studies. Calibrations transferred from one NIR instrument to another lose accuracy because of differences in instrument construction, sample presentation and other factors. A research effort has recently been applied to this problem of transferability and results are available for both scanning and fixed filter instruments. The success achieved opens the way for using NIR results obtained in different companies or countries as an uncontested basis for trade.

View more