Charfedinne Ayed

Project Title: 

“HiSRedSuits" (Hidden Salt Reduction in Sweet biscuits)

Host Organisation: 

Division of Food Sciences, University of Nottingham

Short biography

Charfedinne is from Dijon (France). His research interests lie in the area of food Chemistry, with a specific interest in aroma compounds behaviours.

After his PhD in the field of Organic Chemistry he joined Elisabeth Guichard’s team (molecular interactions and flavour perception) in the INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) of Dijon.
There he spent 3 years working on food aroma behaviours and their interactions with saliva and main food ingredients (water, fat, protein, salt…).

Now, he has joined Ian Fisk’s group as a post-doctoral fellow for two years to work on understanding the role of sodium in biscuit/cracker foods and try to reduce the hidden salt contained in biscuits.
With his passion and experience in managing projects, he is also applying his skills to work with industrial partners in order to transfer innovative analytical techniques in order to provide innovative tools to guide the food industries to reformulate food products (e.g. sweet biscuits with less salt) while maintaining their acceptability.

Brief description of research project

Salt reduction in food is a concept that has been garnering increased attention in the last few years. The baking industry often adds salt to sweet biscuits to increase sweetness and acceptability, but consumer expectations concerning health safety for children have increased over the past decade. It may be possible to reduce the need to include salt if we can determine how salt impacts the global behaviour of biscuits (structure, aroma release, colour, moistening...).

The first results of our study showed a significant impact of salt reduction on some "sweet" aroma (less released) and on the biscuit's hardness (softer). That can explain why reducing the salt in biscuits often lead to a loss of acceptability (perceived less sweet, less crunchy).

In the second part of this project, we will propose new formulations to mitigate the loss of sensory attributes for commercial biscuits when salt levels are reduced.

This innovative work has also a strong social component because its long-term goal is to make healthier sweet biscuits (with less hidden salt) available to people and specifically for children who must strictly control their salt intake in order to decrease the risk of illness in adulthood.