Through advanced techniques (ie drying, extraction, extrusion) we are able to develop new, advanced products, that meet highly demanding consumer requirements (reduction of salt, sugar, synthetic additives, high nutritional value, improved organoleptic characteristics), product and process standardization, as well as strict European regulations (No 1333/2008, 1129/2011 for the limitation of synthetic food additives) international standards and environmental legislation (reduction of energy, water, raw materials consumption and CO2 footprint). At the same time viable food production is ensured and ideas based on biotechnology innovation are explored (bio-based content, product functionalities, biodegradability).
KPAD Ltd researchers, through their participation in demanding international projects, have gained great experience in developing innovative food products:
- Application of Nanoemulsion Technology to confectionary food products based on oil in water emulsions such as vegetable cream and fudge icings. The innovative character of our work lies in the replacement of the oil or/and the water phase of the conventional emulsions with food grade nanoemulsions. The objective is both the improvement of the quality of the products in line with the latest nutritional trends by substituting currently used ingredients (oils, surfactants) with more healthy ones and the reduction of the processing degree of the final products.
- Development and adaptation of traditional Greek olive based products to Chinese dietary and culinary preferences. The main goals of this work is to produce low-salt products and at the same time products with functional additives (antioxidants) and superior sensory characteristics with the addition of essential oils. In order to meet these requirements the project will optimize and apply new technologies within the conventional processes of olive products. In order to lower the salt content a dehydration pretreatment of olives prior to fermentation will be investigated. The partial substitution of salt within the brine solution at the fermentation process will be also studied. In order to develop new olive paste products with superior nutritional and sensory characteristics the addition of antioxidant extracts and essential oils from Greek and Chinese herbs, will be investigated, respectively.
- Development of fruit juices and beverages that are enhanced with beneficial compounds originating from natural sources like microalgae. The objective is to extract bioactive microalgal compounds (Carotenoids (astaxanthin) from Haematococcus pluvialis, and omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid) from Phaeodactylum tricornutum) which will replace the synthetic additives and will improve the organoleptic characteristics, colour and nutritious content of final products. The development of such innovative products will be achieved by optimizing the extraction/purification processes of the microalgal compounds, and their encapsulated formulations in order to make them compatible with water based systems.
- Concerning the dairy chain, definition of the requirements for product quality, concerning product recipe, manufacturing data (applied process, process parameters etc.), information on the product properties (e.g. water content, texture, etc.), data on descriptive sensorial properties and product quality assurance analysis (sensorial analysis). Shelf life testing and storage stability analysis will take place; On this purpose microbiological changes during storage will be designed and parameters that may influence the shelf life of the products will be considered (e.g. pH, temperature, humidity, etc.). Particular focus will be set on yeasts and moulds, aerobic or anaerobic germs will be defined for the tests, accelerated shelf-life test protocols will be applied for powder products, shelf-life test for the raw-milk like powder and encapsulated flavors will be conducted and products will be stored between three and six months under controlled storage (temperature, humidity) conditions, depending on the product requirements. All shelf life tests will be accompanied by quality assurance analysis.
The chemical engineering background of KPAD Ltd members allow us to develop generalized mathematical models of physical and thermophysical properties of products and simulate physical industrial properties. This way we are able to develop, optimized processes and production schemes.