The RESTRUCTURE project 

Recent advances in science suggest ​that the speed of eating has a large influence on the extent to which we feel full, which in turn determines how much we eat during a meal. But the exact relation between the texture of food, the speed of eating and how much we eat (energy intake) is not yet completely understood. ​"RESTRUCTURE: Developing and implementing innovative and evidence-based food design principles to moderate energy intake " will demonstrate some of the causal mechanisms by which these properties may be responsible for overeating. The project results will inform food design rules and tools to guide the development of foods that help limit food intake and prevent overweight and obesity.          

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Meet the Team

News & publications

Interrelations between food form, texture, and matrix influence energy intake and metabolic responses

Nutrition often focuses on food composition, yet differences in food form, texture, and matrix influence energy intake and metabolism. This review …

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Texture-based differences in eating rate influence energy intake for minimally-processed and ultra-processed meals

The study suggests that differences in food texture and energy density lead to observed differences in energy intake between minimally-processed …

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GLOSSARY OF RESTRUCTURE

Eating rate  

The speed of eating (measured in g/min and kcal/min. Studies show that eating slowly can reduce energy intake. Eating rate depends on macronutrient composition and food structure and processing. 

Energy density

The number of kcal (calories) per gram of food. There is sufficient evidence that higher energy densities lead to sustained increases in energy intake and weight gain. Energy density is generally higher in ultra-processed foods and a likely explanation for overconsumption, potentially in addition to texture related causes. RESTRUCTURE aims to control for this and keep energy density levels consistent across the diets, to investigate the influence of texture and eating rate.

Energy intake

The number of kcal (calories) ingested.

Energy intake rate  

The speed at which calories are consumed (measured in kcal/min). This combines the energy density of a food with its eating rate. Energy density (kcal/g) x Eating rate (g/min) = Energy intake rate (kcal/min)

“Fast” foods

Foods that have a relatively high energy intake rate (the energy provided by foods or drinks is consumed quickly).

“Slow” foods

Foods that have a relatively low energy intake rate (the energy provided by foods or drinks is consumed slowly).

Food design rules (for eating rate)  

By shedding light on how the composition and texture-properties influence eating rate, RESTRUCTURE will produce the criteria to define “slow foods” and the principles that can be used to guide their development.

Food processing  

Food processing can be described as the methods used to turn fresh foods into food products, such as heating, drying, fermenting, extraction, extrusion, packaging.

Food reformulation  

In the context of the project, food reformulation is the re-designing of an existing food product with the objective of making it healthier. Currently reformulation typically focuses on reducing “risk nutrients” including saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, salt, and calories. RESTRUCTURE aims to integrate research findings on texture and eating rate into reformulation goals. 

Food texture  

Food texture is defined as “all the mechanical, geometrical and surface attributes of a product perceptible by mechanical, tactile, or visual and auditory receptors” (International Standards Organization, ISO, 1994). Textures include ‘hardness’ or ‘softness’, ‘crunchiness’ or ‘crumbliness’, or 'viscosity'. Texture is multidimensional and dynamic in nature, as it changes during eating.

NOVA classification  

The NOVA classification seeks to categorise food products based on the extent and purpose of processing, into four groups:  

  1. Unprocessed and minimally processed foods
  2. Processed culinary ingredients
  3. Processed foods
  4. Ultra-processed foods 
Overweight obesity prevention  

Overweight and obesity are among the most urgent nutrition related problems in the world affecting more than 2 billion people. By helping to reduce energy intake rate of foods, RESTRUCTURE aims to contribute to prevention of overweight and obesity. Obesity is however a complex issue, requiring multiple interventions at different levels.

Palatability

The degree to which a food is liked. Studies on the effect of eating rate/food processing need to account for the palatability of food. RESTRUCTURE aims to control for this and keep palatability levels consistent across the diets.

Satiation   

Satiation is defined as the processes which occur in the body during eating that lead us to finish eating/end a meal.

Ultra-processed food (UPF)  

While definitions vary, ultra-processed foods are described as “formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, that result from a series of industrial processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).” The RESTRUCTURE trial will determine whether the effects of texture on energy intake rate are independent of being classified as ultra-processed foods.

RESEARCH PARTNERS

programme execution partner

public funding partner

co-financing partners

KEES DE GRAAF

Wageningen University

Kees de Graaf is emeritus professor of Sensory Science and Eating Behavior at the division of Humane Nutrition and Health of Wageningen University. With RESTRUCTURE he has a strong motivation to provide excellent and conclusive experimental data on to which properties of unprocessed and (ultra-)processed food actually drive overconsumption. For him, RESTRUCTURE is about the discovery of the fundamental biological mechanisms on how the modern food environment stimulates overconsumption.   

Alwine kardinaal

TiFN

Alwine Kardinaal is the Theme Director for Healthy Nutrition at TiFN. Alwine is a nutrition scientist with a long history of running multidisciplinary projects set up to understand and demonstrate the health benefits of food ingredients. In RESTRUCTURE, she supports the project leader in managing this challenging project. 

ANNET ROODENBURG

HAS University

Annet JC Roodenburg (PhD Nutrition) is an associate professor of Nutrition and Health at HAS University of Applied Sciences. She worked for the last 20 years on the scientific approach towards healthier foods and responsible communication in order to help consumers to make healthier choices. RESTRUCTURE brings new insights to this approach.

LISE HEUVEN

Wageningen University

Lise Heuven is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Lise has a MSc in Food Technology and Nutrition & Health and is very passionate to combine these research areas. She is highly motivated to apply her skills in the execution of the ultra-processed food trial and modelling of eating rate.

MARKUS STIEGER

Wageningen University

Markus Stieger is professor for Food Oral Processing at Wageningen University in the divisions of Human Nutrition & Health and the Food Quality and Design. His research interests are to understand how food oral processing transforms food structures into sensory perception, how food products can be designed which modulate oral processing behaviour and regulate energy intake and how food oral processing contributes to food digestion.

CIARÁN FORDE

Wageningen University

Prof. Ciarán Forde is chair of Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour in the division of Human Nutrition and Health of Wageningen University and Research. Prof. Forde has over 20 years' experience in the public, private and academic sectors, leading research on how the sensory properties of foods influence calorie selection, eating behaviour, energy intake and metabolism in adults and children. His research has been instrumental in linking food processing and sensory cues to energy intake, and the RESTRUCTURE trial offers an opportunity to demonstrate the role of sensory cues in moderating the flow of calories through our diets.

MATTHIJS DEKKER 

Wageningen University

Matthijs Dekker is associate professor at Wageningen University in the division of Food Quality and Design. Matthijs is experienced in mathematical modelling of food quality in relation to composition, processing, packaging and digestion. RESTRUCTURE is an opportunity to apply his modelling skills to fight overweight by the design of healthier food products.

SYLVIE HUYBERS

HAS University

Sylvie has a background in biomedical health sciences. During her PhD training she focussed on intestinal calcium absorption. In following research projects, she gained expertise in food digestion and absorption and the effect of nutrition on (gut)health. Currently she investigates the possibilities to design healthy food products and to effectively communicate about a healthy diet to consumers. Participating in the RESTRUCTURE project gives her the opportunity to translate scientific knowledge into healthy food products for the consumer and in this way contribute to overall health.

DIEUWERKE BOLHUIS

Wageningen University

Dieuwerke Bolhuis is assistant professor at Wageningen University in the department of Food Quality and Design. Dieuwerke is an experienced researcher in how taste and texture sensation regulate food intake behaviour. With RESTRUCTURE she is motivated to translate fundamental food intake mechanisms to applicable tools to design foods that moderate energy intake. Palatable foods prone to overconsumption can be restructured to be more fulfilling in smaller portion sizes.

GIULIA GAGGIOTTI

EUFIC

 ​Giulia is a Communication manager at the European Food Information Council (EUFIC). She has a wealth of experience leading the communications activities of various EU-funded projects on food and nutrition, translating complex science into clear and practical information, and an MSc in Management. RESTRUCTURE is an opportunity to tap into her sci-comms skills for an ambitious and compelling research study.

CHRISTINA SADLER

EUFIC

Christina is a Senior manager at the European Food Information Council (EUFIC). She has 10 years’ experience communicating science on food and health and leading project dissemination activities, and has a BSc (Hons) in nutrition. As a part-time postgraduate researcher, at the University of Surrey, she has recently reviewed classification systems based on food processing. RESTRUCTURE is an opportunity to broaden her perspectives on food properties and energy intake.

GERLINDE VAN SANTEN

HAS University

Gerlinde van Santen is a lecturer and advisor at HAS University. Gerlinde has a broad experience in projects and courses, both for students and companies in the Dutch food industry. She has a MSC in Food Technology. RESTRUCTURE is an opportunity for her to introduce new insights to students and companies about consumption and development of healthy food. 

Wageningen University is one of the leading research institutes in the world in the field of Food and Nutrition sciences. The contribution to Restructure is twofold: 1) the empirical development of models that use physical chemical properties of foods to predict eating rate and satiation, 2) the design of a decisive one-week RCT to assess the effects of industrial food processing vs. energy intake on ad libitum energy intake.

www.wur.nl

The HAS University of Applied Sciences is an expertise centre on food, agriculture and the environment, located in Den Bosch/Venlo, The Netherlands. It contributes to the RESTRUCTURE research on eating rate and consumer communication.

www.hasuniversity.nl

The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organization that offers accessible, appealing and actionable science-based information on food and health. Through its communication tools and networks, EUFIC will guide the communication and dissemination of the RESTRUCTURE project to share relevant scientific research findings and insights with a broad and varied audience.

www.eufic.org

TiFN is a public-private partnership for multi- and interdisciplinary research in food and nutrition. We aim to combine scientific excellence with programming led by demands from business and society, and result-oriented project planning, execution and management.

www.tifn.nl

RESTRUCTURE project is co-funded by the Dutch government through the TKI Top Sector Agri & Food scheme for public-private partnerships.

The Top Sector Agri & Food has the ambition to be a world leader in successful solutions for global challenges in the fields of agriculture and food. The Top Sector Agri & Food is one of the 9 top sectors in which The Netherlands excels worldwide. It stimulates new knowledge and innovations, first and foremost by creating and financing research and innovation projects.
www.topsectoragrifood.nl

Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies with well-known brands operating in three divisions: Beauty & Personal care, Foods & Refreshment and Home Care. We believe that scientific research is crucial to advance our knowledge and understanding of how food and nutrition affect our consumers’ health and, therefore, we contribute to the RESTRUCTURE project. 

www.unilever.com

The Hero Group is an international food company which operates with a clear mission: to delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature. The company focuses on four main strategic categories: baby and toddler foods, baby and toddler milks, natural spreads and healthy snacks. Hero, under its Nutrition Institute, decided to be part of the RESTRUCTURE project to better understand how food texture relates to eating behaviour, and to integrate the findings to advance the development of natural and healthy products.

www.hero-group.ch

www.hero-nutrition-institute.com/en

The Netherlands Oils & Fats Industry (MVO) represents 95% of the companies in The Netherlands that are active in the production, processing, trade and recycling of vegetable and animal oils and fats. We take part in RESTRUCTURE because we feel it is important to learn more about how changing the structure of products can change eating behaviour in a healthy way. 

www.mvo.com

Knowledge Center sugar & nutrition (KSV) provides science-based information about sugars in relation to nutrition and health to health professionals. KSV is funding the RESTRUCTURE project because we believe that greater understanding is needed about food processing and health-related outcomes.

www.suikerwetenschap.nl

www.kenniscentrumsuiker.nl

NZMP, Fonterra’s ingredient brand, has pioneered dairy innovation from as early as 1927. In Europe we produce a range of premium quality whey protein and specialty ingredients that can be used in a range of consumer products from lifestyle, sports, medical to paediatric nutrition. NZMP has joined the RESTRUCTURE project to support our customers in developing the best products for consumers, by creating different textures using our ingredients and providing communication insight

www.nzmp.com

We are a Trade Organisation for all processed foods, and therefore interested in any research study which looks into how the “level of processing” can be a causal factor in obesity. This is why we are funding RESTRUCTURE project, whatever the outcomes.

www.fnli.nl

Royal Cosun is a leading international agricultural cooperative of 8,400 growers. We unlock the full potential of plants in a sustainable way and create smart, plant-based solutions for current and future generations. We create solutions for food, food ingredients, animal feed, biobased products and green energy. By doing so, we can limit climate change and improve lifestyles. We work together with associated supplying growers from Europe, Asia, North and South America and with more than 4,000 employees. The business groups Aviko, Cosun Beet Company, Duynie Group, Sensus and SVZ are part of Cosun.   

Royal Cosun’s interest in the Restructure project is to see whether the addition of Cosun ingredients (including sugar beet fiber) to food and food ingredients lowers the eating rate and thus the energy intake of consumers. We also want to identify new possibilities and scientific argumentation for developing plant-based food ingredients that improve product quality and consumer health in collaboration with potential food manufacturers.  

www.cosun.nl

General Mills is a company that delivers foods that the world loves. As part of our continued support to science-based research we are participating in the RESTRUCTURE project with the intent of increasing our understanding of how food composition affects eating behaviours and incorporating these findings in the development of our products, to help support our consumers in building healthy dietary patterns.

www.generalmills.com