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The hunt for nature’s own additives

Monday 02 Dec 19


Egon Bech Hansen
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 62 03
In general, aromas, emulsifiers, and preservatives do not make up a large part of our foods. However, they make a big difference for their taste, texture, and shelf life. Researchers at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark are searching through the building blocks of foods in order to develop new, natural, and sustainable additives.

For several centuries, additives have been used to extend the shelf life of foods and to provide them with a better texture and taste. However, today’s consumers often demand natural additives that do not require an E number.

"The ambition is to transfer the methods we use to find new ingredients in a number of other vegetable or animal residual products."
Professor Egon Bech Hansen

In order to help the industry give the consumers what they want, researchers at the National Food Institute have developed methods to identify naturally occurring additives e.g. in food proteins, which can help slow down the process of fatty acids in foods going rancid, among other things.

Read more 

Read more about the National Food Institute’s research into natural ingredients in an article from the National Food Institute’s 60th anniversary publication: The hunt for nature’s own additives.

The National Food Institute is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, as it was decided on June 5, 1959 to establish a national food institute in Denmark. 

You can also read the articles: At the forefront of healthy, safe and sustainable foodsSeaweed and micro algae on the menu and Eating grass is not for ruminants only.

The National Food Institute develops new and better food products for a growing population

According to forecasts from the UN, the world population will grow by more than two billion people over the next decades so that the total world population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. At the same time, the middle class is growing, and more people are moving from the countryside to the cities. 

As such, there will be more mouths to feed, and the demand for healthy and convenient foods is also increasing.

The UN estimates that in 2050 we must produce 70% more food than we do today to feed the world population. However, the current way of producing food will most likely not be able to meet this demand. 

There is a need for research and innovation to find new sources of healthy, safe, and better foods and food components. 

The National Food Institute’s vision is to make a difference by developing new and better food products for the growing population. The institute finds new raw materials and ingredients, assesses their nutritional content and the safety in using them – and develops technologies with which to produce them. 

Foods must be healthy, safe and preferably also tasty.

Image: National Food Institute
7 MARCH 2021