The RESTRUCTURE project 

Previous research has shown that the speed of eating affects the speed at which we feel full, which in turn determines how much food we eat during a meal. When food is eaten quickly, people tend to eat more. The texture of ultra-processed foods (UPF), which are associated with overweight and diet-related diseases, may therefore play an important role in driving food or calorie overconsumption of these foods. But the exact effect of the eating rate and texture of UPFs on how much and quick we eat in the long term is not yet completely understood. Therefore, within the RESTRUCTURE project, as set out in 2021, we aim to obtain more precise data on how UPFs may impact our bodyweight and overall metabolic health and implement in novative and evidence-based food design principles to moderate energy intake.

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Meet the Team

To understand how UPF consumption may be linked to higher energy intakes, metabolic functions, and changes in body weight, the project will test for several markers during the trial:

News & research

The clinical trial is underway: pre-data analysis scripts and detailed study methods

New findings from the RESTRUCTURE project have been published in the journal Food Quality and Preference highlighting how bread shape can influence …
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New Restructure findings show that bread shape influences energy intake

New findings from the RESTRUCTURE project have been published in the journal Food Quality and Preference highlighting how bread shape can influence …
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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.


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 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.