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Areas of specialisation

Qualiment® provides four areas of specialisation as shown on the following graphic. 

SCHEMA Qualiment EN

 

Nutrition

In order to improve the effects of food on our health, we have to understand the effects of food on our main physiological functions. The aim of those researches is to:

  • Understanding the biological impact of nutrients on the main body funcitons in specific populations (senior, athletes, children...)
  • Contributing to the development of claims and nutritional recommendations
  • Studying the impact on diet on the microbiota and the impact of microbiota on health

The strategy followed consists in studying the impact of macro and micronutrients on diverse metabolic pathways involved in the support of the main biological functions of our organism. This strategy is carried out thanks to the study of metabolism pathways (and their regulation) and of signals induced by nutrients. For that, animal models (rodent, mini-pig, transgenic mice) and nutritional studies on human beings represent a whole range of experimental approaches of prime importance.

Examples of research projects:

  • Aupalesens: Without care, the undernutrition of elderly people leads to a mobility decrease, to an increased risk of falls, wounds or a vulnerability to infectious diseases and a worsening of chronic diseases.
    The aim of this program is to test the efficiency of “nutritional strategies” (nutritional advices, use of food supplements) and “sensorial strategies” to prevent and fight against the undernutrition among the elderly. This project demonstrated the efficiency of sensory levers on the pleasure linked with the meal and the act of eating, contributing to the “well-aging” of our senior citizens.
  • Agecaninox: The nutritional advice concerning oils and fats is focused on the consumption of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) omega 3. However, these fatty acids are extremely reactive molecules and their oxidation creates numerous products. 
    Some oxidation markers have been followed from the raw materials to the consumption of food and their transformation and metabolic effects in vivo. What is more, the project has led to the development of vectors preventing the oxidation of PUFA while making sure of the sensory acceptability.
  • Eurreca: In Europe, the nutritional advices concerning micronutrients in food are much different from one country to another, sometimes going up to the double. The harmonization and the conformity of public nutritional policies and public health strategies represent a major objective at the European scale. In the framework of this harmonization effort, Eurreca has been created to identify and propose methods for standardizing the definition of nutrient reference  values, in the idea of suggesting  nutritional recommendations.
    Eurreca has developed a nine -step guide presenting the ideal process to determine the nutritional values (nutritional recommended intake) in a clear, scientific and systemic way.
  • Flaviola: Flavonols are a group of compounds located in the cocoa bean, the tea leaves and in black grapes. Several studies suggest that a diet enriched in flavonols could have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. Deeper studies were necessary to understand how we absorb and metabolize the flavonols, what their impacts on the cardiovascular function are and what type of diet could help us ingest food rich in flavonols in the best way. Flaviola has then led to the development of innovative and naturals products.


 

Sensoriality and consumer behaviour

The aim of sensory analyses is to measure and understand the impact of the taste perception mechanisms which significantly affect the consumer behaviour. The objectives of the research are:

  • Identifying the molecules and mechanisms responsible for olfactory and gustatory qualities of food
  • Understanding how a sensory image is formed and the role of memory in sensory assessment and food choices
  • Determining the role of food and sensory exposures on food preferences and choices


Examples of research projects:

  • Program NRA SensinMouth: The aim of this project is to clarify the role of the chewing in the release dynamics of stimuli responsible for the perception. This will lead to useful knowledge for food formulation integrating nutritional and sensory acceptability criteria.

The aims of research about consumer behaviour are:

  • The characterization and the understanding of the heterogeneity of food choices and sensory perceptions of consumers which can change with experiments and ageings
  • The understanding of the role of food and sensory exposure and of their context on the preferences of consumers and on their food choices

 

Examples of research projects:

  • Bisens: This project is related to the design process of functional biscuits which have to comply with complex and multi-criteria specifications: improved nutritional profile, satisfactory technologic behaviour and organoleptic qualities and proven satiety benefits. An interdisciplinary and integrative approach has been developed in order to determine the impact of physiological and psychological factors on the hungry feeling and the food taking

  • Epipref: An overconsumption of fatty, salty or sweet food is damageable for health; however fatty, salty and sweet foods bear an often strong hedonic value which competes with the nutritional reason. There was no tool to measure the inherent hedonic attraction that can feel a person to the feeling of fatty, salty or sweet food.
    The project has led to the development of a sensory analysis tool allowing the individual phenotyping linked with the hedonicity of fat, salt and sweet. mise au point d'un outil d'analyse sensorielle permettant le phénotypage des individus vis à vis de l'hédonicité du gras, du salé et du sucré.

  • Na-: The major goal of this project was to reduce the amount of salt in meat-products and especially in ham. A tool has been developed for the meat-industry to simulate efficiently a reduction of the amount of salt used while making sure of a better homogeneity of the production with a cost allowing a higher competitiveness for industrials and the use of eco-friendly and less energy consuming process. 

 


 

Food structure

The release of the compounds responsible for the taste and of the nutrients giving nutritional qualities to food depends on the composition and three-dimension structure of the matrices which is the result of both the biological origin and the technological history of the food components. The main objective is to:

  • Understanding the impact of food structure on the release and bioavailability of nutrients and flavour components
  • Improving processes including reverse engineered processes in order to control the structure of the food matrix and to optimise the release of the active compounds
  • Stabilising ingredients and processing agents to preserve their functionality

Examples of research projects:

  • Nomac: The consumption of cereal products with a low glycaemic index, rich in fibres and micronutrients is recommended to prevent excess weight, obesity and resulting chronic diseases. The aim of this work has been to give new solutions for cereal food products: the knowledge and comprehension of their future in vivo have been used to define the structural characteristics allowing the improvement of the added value of food

  •  Dream: The project DREAM, launched in May 2009 for a period of 4 years was dedicated to the elaboration of food real models and food informatics models which could be used by the agribusiness industry and by researchers especially in the field of nutrition. For researchers the aim was to create standardized and reproducible food to be able to take into account the impact of their structure and composition on nutritional properties.                         
    For the agribusiness industrials, the aim was to provide a decision support tool for the elaboration of new food compositions complying with the nutritional recommendations and the sanitary requirement. The project has been based on four type of food: fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, cabbages and apples), meat (pork, poultry), dairy products (dairy desserts, cheese) and cereal products (bread, biscuits, corn-flakes).                             

 


 

Process

The industrial food processes, including the steps of deconstruction of raw materials, of formulation, of mixing and homogenization of intermediate products and heat treatments… have a major positive or negative impact on sensory (colour, texture, flavour…) and nutritional (chemical modifications, oxidation, nutrients biodisponibility, new molecules) properties of food.
The research objectives are to produce and maintain functional and sensory properties of foods: 

  • Mastering industrial processes to improve the nutritional and sensory quality of food
  • Eco-designing equipment and production lines for sustainable food industries

Examples of research projects:

  • Spiceclean: Spices and dried herbs are mainly produced in tropical countries. The production process of raw materials is often traditional and these products go through numerous contamination paths. On top of the determination of the decontamination efficiency, this project has integrated the preservation aspects and the functional properties of the examined products.        

  • Braise: The aim of the project is to develop multi-energy approaches to bake bread and reliable tools to assess the energetic efficiency
    Four action levers have been identified in order to improve the energetic efficiency: the baking time, the improvement of the exchanges at the surface to decrease the difference between the oven temperature and the product temperature, the oven inertia through the pre-heating time and an optimal control of the process. The project has led to the development of a multi-energy industrial prototype.

  • Dominove: The reactions of thermic degradation of lipids during the domestic re-heating of pre-fried industrial products have been studied thanks to this project. This study has been made with three types of manufactured products whose industrial processing includes one deep frying step. These products are either potato-based, breaded poultry or cheese or Asian food such as nems. The optimum conditions of domestic re-heating have been determined to improve the nutritional characteristics of the products with a satisfactory sensory quality.             
  • Globule: The valorisation of cheese production by-products have always been a concern for cheese companies. This project has led to the control of the manufacturing of seric proteins taking into account their denaturation and the evolution of their functionalities through the control of the thermic process and the physic-chemicals conditions in order to maximize the protein concentration and to reduce the clogging of the equipment.                          

  • Prosafebeef: This project had the objectives to make the bovine industry in Europe prosper and diversify thanks to high quality, sanitary secure and consumer attractive innovations which could improve the industrial competitiveness and the development of green plants. Eventually, the project led to 1) the development of quantitative evaluation models to follow, reduce and control the risks of microbiological and chemical contamination all along the production line of beef meat, 2) the establishment of new strategies to control the microbiological pathogenic factors at some crucial steps of the beef meat production line in order to optimize the sanitary security of beef meat and beef meat based products, 3) the satisfaction of the consumers concerning the diversity of the products. Thanks to Prosafebeef, the meat production line has been valorised with innovative products and process.
                            
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