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European Project to Develop More Satisfying Food

Feet on bathroom scale (


A European consortium of universities and companies plans to develop food with a greater ability to satisfy the desire for food, to control appetite and combat obesity. The SATiety INnovation (SATIN) project brings together 18 academic and industrial partners from nine European countries including research institutes and companies in the food and retail industry.

SATIN is a five-year, €8 million ($10.7 million) initiative, led by University of Liverpool in the U.K. The project aims to better understand the biological processes in the stomach and the brain that underpin what makes us feel “full”, as well as evaluate if the approach is a viable weight management tool. Participants also plan to design food products that reflect that understanding.

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The problem is not confined to high income countries, but also in low- and middle-income countries, where overweight and obesity are increasing, particularly in urban settings. WHO estimates worldwide some 1.5 billion adults, age 20 and older, were overweight, with more than 200 million men and nearly 300 million women considered obese.

Jason Halford, professor of experimental psychology in Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, says, “Obese and overweight people are less likely to feel full after eating, partly because of the energy-dense foods they prefer have a reduced impact on gastrointestinal hormone signals that help promote feelings of satisfaction and fullness.” Halford adds, “If we can produce foods that fill people up quicker and for longer and taste good then we can help moderate appetite whilst maintaining a healthy balanced diet.”

SATIN plans to use advanced food processing technologies, such as advanced forms of fermentation, vacuum technology, enzyme application, emulsification, ultra-filtration, drying, sublimation and freezing, heat treatment, protein modification and encapsulation. These techniques are expected to modify the structure of the foods which accelerate satiation, enhance satiety, and to reduce appetite.

In addition to Liverpool, the initiative includes other universities from the U.K., Spain, and Denmark. Industrial partners include the Coca Cola company and Axxam SpA, a biotechnology company in Milan that was spun off from the Bayer HealthCare, Research and Development organization in 2001.

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