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Teesside University and Sainsbury’s join forces on £1million research project

11 October 2013 @TeesUniNews

 

Researchers at Teesside University are joining forces with a leading supermarket chain on a £1 million project to find ways to cut the amount of fat used in fried food.

As well as improving efficiency and reducing carbon output, the three-year project with Sainsbury’s could also result in healthier crisps and snacks.

The University will work with Sainsbury’s and members of its supply chain to explore different ways to improve efficiency and reduce the take up of oil in fried food.

The project is part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, a public body set up to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.

Teesside University will provide expertise in food science, chemistry and sustainable technology to optimise the management of oil in the production process.

The five main aims of the project are to: • reduce oil use and oil degradation • reduce production costs through increased productivity and efficiency • increase shelf life of crisps and ambient snacks and thereby reduce supply chain waste • reduce product oil pick-up during frying • find options for oil and energy reuse.

Victoria Yell, Sainsbury’s Technical Manager, said: 'We’ll be looking at many different options at how to achieve these aims.

'It could be that we devise a new piece of machinery or a new process on the production line or a different way of preparing the food or a combination of different things.

'As well as increased efficiency and productivity, there is also going to be a health impact as there will be less oil used in the manufacture of the foods.

'I’m very confident that at the end of the three years we will have developed innovative ways to achieve our aims.'

The first year of the project will predominantly take place at Teesside University and will involve a wide range of research and experimentation.

In the second year, ideas that have been developed in the laboratories will be upscaled and tested in the factories of Sainsbury’s industrial partners.

In the final year of the project, the results will be analysed and published and any process or innovations which have been developed will be patented.

At all stages of the process, taste panels will be used to assess the impact upon the consumer.

Teesside University was chosen to collaborate with Sainsbury’s because of its proven experience working on similar projects.

Previous work the University has undertaken in this field include spearheading the Resource Efficiency Pathways to Sustainable Growth (REPS) project – a £2 million scheme to help 156 North-East companies improve efficiency and sustainability, make cost savings and reduce carbon production.

Teesside University also worked with Camerons Brewery to improve its energy efficiency, bringing a graduate into the company, with academic supervision, to deliver the project.

The Teesside University research project will be led by Sustainable Technologies Project Manager Garry Evans along with Dr Jibin He, Dr Gillian Taylor, Dr Liam O’Hare and Shirley O’Hare.

Garry said: 'This is a great project and it’s fantastic to be working on it with a company like Sainsbury’s.

'There is a lot of competition for these projects. Out of more than 1,600 applications there were only about 30 successful bids.

'From a University perspective it proves that we have the capacity and capability for delivering successful results.

'The market for what we’re working on is in excess of £2 billion so even a small reduction in the cost of the process could have massive impact.

'The work that we do could also have implications for many other industries as well.'


In the News

Sainsbury's seeks to fry with less fat
The Grocer, 19/10/2013, p.10
The first year of the three-year project will take place at Teesside University, before being upscaled and tested in the factories of Sainsbury's suppliers. Taste panels will also be used to assess an


Sainsbury's and Teesside University collaborate to reduce fat in fried foods
Food & Beverage Online (Web), 15/10/2013, BBC Tees, 15/10/2013
Sainsbury's has teamed up with Teesside University to explore possible ways to slash the amount of fat used in fried foods, a move which could lead to the development of healthier crisps and snacks.


UK: Sainsbury's, Tayto, SK Foods team up for fried food research
Aroq, 14/10/2013, Global FoodMate (Web), 14/10/2013, Food Business Review (Web), 14/10/2013, The Journal (Web), 14/10/2013
Sainsbury's, crisp maker Tayto and ethnic snack group SK Foods are teaming up with researchers at Teesside University to increase efficiency in fried food production.


Sainsbury invests £1m in healthier crisp
Food Manufacture (Web), 11/10/2013; Ichainnel (Web), 12/10/2013
Developing healthier crisps is the aim of a new £1m research project funded by Sainsbury at Teesside University. Researchers will work with the retailer and members of its supply chain to explore ways


Sainsbury's and university fight the fat
Business Quarter Magazine (Web), 11/10/2013
The first year of the research will take place mainly at Teesside University and will involve a range of research and experimentation.


Teesside University and Sainsbury's join forces on £1million research project
B Daily (Web), 11/10/2013
Researchers at Teesside University are joining forces with a leading supermarket chain on a £1 million project to find ways to cut the amount of fat used in fried food.


University to lead £1m food research project
The Journal (Newcastle Upon Tyne), 14/10/2013, p.32
Researchers at Teesside University are joining forces with a leading supermarket chain on a £1m project to find ways to cut the amount of fat used in fried food. As well as improving efficiency and re