Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
REDUCED FAT COMPOSITIONS WITH IMPROVED MOUTHFEEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/026844
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present invention relates to edible compositions which are reduced in fat and have an improved mouthfeel. The compositions find particular application in beverages and non-dairy creamers, but can be used in other edible products. The invention also relates to the agglomeration of micelles.

Inventors:
LV, Haicui (2F Building II, No 1535 Hong Mei Rd, Shanghai, CN)
JIANG, Li (2F Building II, No 1535 Hong Mei Rd, Shanghai, CN)
Application Number:
EP2015/068918
Publication Date:
February 25, 2016
Filing Date:
August 18, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TATE & LYLE SWEDEN AB (Älvåsvägen 1, Kimstad, S-61020, SE)
International Classes:
A23C11/08
Domestic Patent References:
2005-12-29
Foreign References:
EP0792587A21997-09-03
EP1796481A12007-06-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EIP (Fairfax House, 15 Fulwood Place, London Greater London WC1V 6HU, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A solid composition for dispersion in a pre-determined amount of an aqueous medium to produce a beverage comprising β-glucans, wherein the composition comprises;

- a protein or derivative thereof; and

a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of

350,000 Daltons or more;

wherein upon dispersion to form the beverage the amount of fat within said beverage is from 0 to about 10% by weight.

2. A composition according to claim 1 , wherein the aqueous medium is water.

3. A composition according to claim 2 wherein the water is at 90°C or higher. 4. A composition according to claim 1 , 2 or 3, wherein upon dispersion to form the beverage, the beverage comprises from about 0.005 to about 5% β-glucans by weight.

5. A composition according to any of claims 1 to 4, wherein upon dispersion to form the beverage the amount of fat within the beverage is from 0 to about 5% by weight.

6. A composition according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the beverage has viscosity less than or equal to about 0.1 Pa.s at 25°C.

7. A composition according to any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the solid composition is a powder.

8. A solid composition for dispersion in a pre-determined amount of an aqueous medium to produce a beverage comprising β-glucans comprising;

a protein or derivative thereof; and

a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more;

wherein, upon dispersion to form said beverage the viscosity of said beverage is less than or equal to about 0.1 Pa.s at 25°C.

9. A composition according to claim 8, wherein the aqueous medium is water.

10. A composition according to claim 9, wherein the water is at 90°C or higher.

1 1. A composition according to claim 8, 9 or 10, wherein upon dispersion to form the beverage, the beverage comprises from 0.005 to about 5% β-glucans by weight. 12. A composition according to any of claims 8 to 1 1 , wherein upon dispersion to form the beverage the amount of fat within the beverage is from 0 to about 5% by weight.

13. A composition according to any of claims 8 to 12, wherein the solid composition is a powder.

14. A composition according to any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the fat is present in an amount up to 500-fold the weight of the material comprising β-glucans.

15. A liquid composition comprising;

- a protein or derivative thereof;

a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 1 ,000,000 Daltons or more; and

an aqueous phase;

wherein the amount of fat within the liquid composition is from 0 to about 10 wt%.

16. A liquid composition according to claim 15, wherein the liquid composition is a beverage.

17. A liquid composition according to claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the liquid composition comprises an oil phase, and the composition is an oil-in-water emulsion.

18. A composition according to claim 15, 16 or 17, wherein the amount of fat within the liquid compositions is from 0 to about 5 wt%.

19. A composition according to any preceding claim, wherein the protein or derivative thereof is derived from milk.

20. A composition according to claim 19, wherein the protein or derivative thereof is casein or a derivative thereof. 21. A composition according to any preceding claim, wherein the material comprising β-glucans is derived from oat or barley grain.

22. A composition according to any preceding claim, wherein the β-glucans are (1-3), (1-4)-β-ϋ- glucans.

23. A composition according to any preceding claim wherein the weight ratio of the material comprising β-glucans to the protein or derivative thereof is from about 1 :50 to about 1 : 1.

24. A composition according to any preceding claim, wherein the average molecular weight of the β-glucans is 400,000 Daltons or more.

25. A composition according to any preceding claim, wherein the fat, if present, is selected from any vegetable oil or fat, such as olive oils, rapeseed oils, sunflower oil, soya oil, maize oil, cotton-seed oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, shea nut fats, cereal germ oil such as wheat germ oil, grape kernel oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil, coconut fats; or any animal oil or fat, such as butter or butterfat or fish oils; or any combination thereof.

26. A composition according to any preceding claim, further comprising one or more of the following ingredients; (a) emulsifiers such as lecithin, mono- and di- glycerides, lactylates or phosphates (b) bulking agents such as corn syrup or maltodextrin (c) flavourants such as tea or coffee powder, (d) sucrose and (e) one or more high intensity sweeteners.

27. A composition according to claim 26, wherein the composition is either;

(i) a solid composition comprising at least one of: sugar; and one or more high intensity sweeteners, in an amount having equivalent sweetness to at least 35 wt% sucrose; or

(jj) a liquid composition comprising at least one of: sugar; and one or more high intensity sweeteners, in an amount having equivalent sweetness to at least 6.5 wt% sucrose.

28. A composition according to claim 26 or 27 comprising sucralose.

29. A composition comprising a protein or derivative thereof, and a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more wherein

on dispersion in an aqueous medium such that the content of the β-glucans is 0.01 % by weight of the dispersion,

■ (a) the fat content of the dispersion is less than or equal to 10 wt%, and/or

(b) the viscosity is less than or equal to 0.1 Pa.s at 25°C.

30. A non-dairy-creamer comprising a composition according to any of claims 1 to 29. 31. A beverage comprising a composition according to any of claims 1 to 29.

32. Use of a material comprising β-glucans to effect agglomeration of micelles in a liquid composition, wherein

the micelles comprise proteins or derivatives thereof;

- the β-glucans have an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more.

33. The use according to claim 32 wherein the amount of fat within the composition is from 0 to about 10 wt% of the liquid composition.

34. The use according to claim 32 or claim 33, wherein the micelles comprise milk-derived proteins or derivatives thereof.

35. The use according to claim 32, 33 or 34, wherein the micelles comprise casein or derivatives thereof.

36. A beverage comprising a non-dairy-creamer, a tea or coffee flavourant, a protein or derivative thereof and a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more.

Description:
REDUCED FAT COMPOSITIONS

WITH IMPROVED MOUTHFEEL

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to edible compositions which are reduced in fat and have an improved mouthfeel. The compositions find particular application in beverages and non-dairy creamers, but can be used in other edible products. The invention also relates to the agglomeration of micelles. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a growing interest and consumer demand for healthier products with reduced fat content. Non- dairy creamers are typically liquid or granular substances intended to substitute for dairy products such as milk or cream as an additive to coffee, tea, cocoa or other beverages. To replicate the mouthfeel of milk fats, non-dairy creamers often contain hydrogenated vegetable-based fats. Reduction in the fat content reduces this effect, resulting in an inferior mouthfeel.

It is known to use polysaccharides and oligosaccharides in products such as mayonnaises, dressings, dips and spreads to lower the overall fat content; see for example, EP 0 792 587, which sets out the use of starch to maintain a high viscosity for reduced fat mayonnaises. WO 2005/122778 describes the use of β-glucans in products such as mayonnaise and dips as an emulsifying agent. The β-glucans rich material in WO'778 is the active emulsifying and stabilising ingredient producing stable emulsions; the oil and aqueous phases are consistently dispersed throughout, giving rise to a good mouthfeel. The high fat content of such emulsions means that they are highly viscous and unsuitable for use in beverages.

The inventors have surprisingly found that β-glucans can be used to achieve good mouthfeel in compositions which comprise less than 10 wt% fat, even though the emulsification effect of the β- glucans at these fat levels is small or even negligible. Indeed, good mouthfeel can be observed in compositions which comprise no fat and in which no emulsion is formed. The compositions identified by the inventors are suitable for use in beverages, and can be used to reduce the fat content in non- dairy creamers without loss of mouthfeel. The compositions identified by the inventors can also be used to reduce the sugar content without loss of mouthfeel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the invention relate to liquid compositions containing less than 10 wt% fat which have a good mouthfeel, and other compositions used to make such liquid compositions. One aspect of the invention relates to compositions comprising a protein or a derivative, less than 10 wt% fat and a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more. Suitably, these compositions can be used in beverages, but the invention is not limited as such. Discussion below relating to beverages is for explanatory purposes only, and the compositions can equally be used in to other applications, to the extent that such is compatible.

One aspect provides a liquid composition comprising;

- a protein or derivative thereof;

a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more; and

an aqueous phase;

wherein the amount of fat within the liquid composition is from 0 to about 10% by weight.

In an embodiment, the liquid composition is a beverage.

In an embodiment, the liquid composition comprises an oil phase, and the composition is an oil-in-water emulsion.

In an embodiment, the liquid composition comprises from about 0.005 wt% to about 5 wt% β-glucans, and may comprise from about 0.01 wt% to about 1 wt%.

In a second aspect of the invention there is provided a composition comprising a protein or derivative thereof, and a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more wherein

on dispersion in an aqueous medium such that the content of the β-glucans is 0.01 % by weight of the dispersion,

(a) the fat content of the dispersion is less than or equal to 10 wt%, and/or ■ (b) the viscosity is less than or equal to 0.1 Pa.s at 25°C.

In an embodiment, on dispersion in aqueous medium such that the content of the β-glucans is 0.020 wt%, 0.025 wt%, 0.030 wt% or 0.035 wt%, by weight of the dispersion,

(a) the fat content of the dispersion is less than or equal to 10 wt%, and/or ■ (b) the viscosity is less than or equal to 0.1 Pa.s at 25°C.

In a further embodiment, there is provided a solid composition for dispersion in a pre-determined amount of an aqueous medium to produce a beverage comprising β-glucans, wherein the

composition comprises;

- a protein or derivative thereof; and

a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of

350,000 Daltons or more;

wherein upon dispersion to form the beverage the amount of fat within said beverage is from 0 to about 10% by weight. In another embodiment, there is provided a solid composition for dispersion in a pre-determined amount of an aqueous medium to produce a beverage comprising β-glucans comprising;

a protein or derivative thereof; and

a material comprising β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more;

wherein, upon dispersion to form said beverage the viscosity of said beverage is less than or equal to about 0.1 Pa.s at 25°C.

In embodiments, for the purpose of the viscosity test the solid composition is dispersed in aqueous medium at a weight ratio of solid composition to aqueous medium of 1 :4.

In embodiments, the viscosity at 25°C of said beverage is less than or equal to about 0.08 Pa.s, 0.05 Pa.s, 0.04 Pa.s, 0.03 Pa.s, 0.02 Pa.s, 0.015 Pa.s or 0.01 Pa.s, measured using a BROOKFIELD LV (DV-II+ Pro) viscometer. To measure the viscosity, a sample is added to a S00 spindle sample tube. The spindle used is S00, at 100 revolutions per minute.

In embodiments, the solid composition is dispersed in an amount of aqueous medium, wherein the weight ratio of the solid composition to the aqueous medium is from about 1 :1 to about 1 : 10, and may be from 1 :2 or 1 :3 to about 1 :9, 1 :8, 1 :7, or 1 :6. Further, the weight ratio of the solid composition to the aqueous medium may be from 1 :3.5 to 1 :5.5.

In embodiments, the solid composition comprises from about 0.05 to about 10 weight % of the material comprising β-glucans. In further embodiments, the solid composition comprises from about 0.1 wt%, 0.2 wt% or 0.7 wt% to about 2 wt%, 1.5 wt% or 1 .0 wt% of the material comprising β- glucans.

In embodiments, the solid composition comprises less than about 50 wt% fat, less than 45 wt% fat, 40 wt% fat, 35 wt% fat, 30 wt% fat, or 25 wt% fat. In an embodiment, the aqueous medium is water. In some embodiments, the water may be at 90°C or higher.

In an embodiment, the fat is present in an amount up to 500-fold the weight of the material comprising β-glucans.

In some embodiments, the weight ratio of the material comprising β-glucans to the protein or derivative thereof is from about 1 :50, 1 : 10 or 1 :5 to about 1 : 1.

In an embodiment, the solid composition is a powder. The compositions of any aspect may further comprise one or more of the following ingredients; (a) emulsifiers such as lecithin, mono- and di- glycerides, lactylates or phosphates (b) bulking agents such as corn syrup or maltodextrin (c) flavourants such as tea or coffee powder. The compositions of any aspect may also comprise sucrose and/or a high intensity sweetener.

In compositions comprising sucrose, it acts as both a sweetener and a bulking agent. Reduced sugar compositions are advantageous because reduction in the sucrose content lowers the calorie content of the composition; the sweetness can be compensated for by including a high-intensity sweetener. However, the inventors have found that the bulking agent properties of sucrose cannot be replicated through including other ingredients, such as high-intensity sweeteners, maltodextrin, polydextrose (PDX) and modified food starch (MFS). The mouthfeel of such compositions is inferior, as can be seen from the Examples and Comparative Examples below. Surprisingly, the inclusion of β-glucans into the composition in place of sucrose has been found to replicate the mouthfeel of the sucrose. Thus, the combination of β-glucans and a high-intensity sweetener has been found to replicate the mouthfeel and sweetness of sucrose in such compositions, as can be seen in the Examples below. The claimed reduced fat compositions have a similar taste/mouthfeel as higher fat content compositions. The claimed reduced fat compositions enable a beverage to be produced with less non- dairy creamer than in prior art formulations, one advantage of which is that such beverages, and the compositions from which they are produced, typically cost less. The claimed compositions also enable a beverage to be produced which contains less sugar whilst nevertheless providing a good mouthfeel, which also results in a cost reduction.

Certain proteins, such as casein and casein derivatives, form micelles in aqueous media. It is believed that these protein micelles are coated by the β-glucans which then agglomerate. These agglomerated micelles give rise to the improved mouthfeel, and surprisingly can mimic the feel of fats and/or sucrose in solution. In high fat solutions (such as those seen in W0778), micelle agglomeration is not observed due to the high viscosity, and thus the advantageous mouthfeel improvement shown by the inventive compositions described herein is not observed in compositions comprising high fat content and/or high viscosity, such as those described in the prior art. Moreover, this effect is not observed when other known emulsifying hydrocolloids or other bulking agents are used instead of the material comprising β- glucans defined herein.

Accordingly, a further aspect provides for the use of a material comprising β-glucans to effect agglomeration of micelles in a liquid composition, wherein

- the micelles comprise proteins or derivatives thereof; the material comprising β-glucans comprises β-glucans, the β-glucans having an average molecular weight of 350,000 Daltons or more.

Optionally, the use is in compositions with a fat content of from 0 to about 10 wt% based on the weight of the composition.

Other aspects of the invention include methods of making the compositions and methods of using them. Beverages, non-dairy creamers and other products comprising the compositions also form separate aspects of the invention.

Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments of the invention, given by way of example only.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following are applicable to each disclosed aspect, to the extent that they are compatible. In particular, the embodiments indicated below apply to the solid compositions (suitable for use in producing a beverage), liquid compositions and the use to effect micelle agglomeration.

Protein

The protein or protein derivative may form micelles in an aqueous medium. The protein or derivative thereof may be derived from milk. It may be casein or a derivative thereof such as sodium or calcium caseinate. Material comprising B-glucans

The material comprising β-glucans can be of a type that is dry milled from oat or barley grain, with or without subsequent ethanol treatment, or can be a powder that has been wet-extracted from oat or barley grain or bran using alkali, or using enzyme treatment such as alpha amylase. For example, the material comprising β-glucans can be produced in accordance with the methods set out in

EP 1 796 481. The material comprising β-glucans can be water soluble at room temperature, in order that no solid can be observed on addition of sufficient water.

In some embodiments, the material comprising β-glucans is derived from oat or barley grain. The β- glucans may be (1-3), (1-4)^-D-glucans. The molecular weight of the beta glucans present in the beta glucans ingredient is at least 350,000 Daltons, and may be at least 400,000 Daltons, or at least 450,000 Daltons.

The molecular weight of the β-glucans is determined using the following GPC protocol; the material comprising β-glucans is dissolved in 0.05 M Sodium Chloride solution to a concentration of 0.1 % and the molecular weight of the polymeric components is determined using high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) on a combined Ultragel GPC column system, using pullulans as comparative molecular weight standards.

In some embodiments, the material comprising β-glucans comprises at least about 5 wt%, at 10 wt%, 12 wt%, 13 wt%, 15 wt%, 20 wt%, 25 wt% or 30 wt% of β-glucans on a dry weight basis.

In some embodiments, the oat grains from which the β-glucans are produced are not heat treated prior to any milling.

Examples of suitable materials are:

(1 ) Water or Alkaline extracts from either whole oat or barley grain, or from an enriched bran milled from the grains, which are subsequently neutralized and then dried to a powder, or alternatively precipitated into ethanol or another organic solvent, or mixtures of ethanol or other organic solvent and water prior to drying. The latter precipitation step can further enrich the β-glucans content of the material.

(2) Materials prepared from oat grain or bran via wet extraction wherein the β-glucans are

solubilized after treatment by starch degrading enzymes such as alpha amylases. Wet milling can also be a component of the extraction regime. The extracts are subsequently dried to a powder or alternatively precipitated into ethanol or other organic solvent, or mixtures of ethanol or other organic solvent and water prior to drying. The latter precipitation step can further enrich the β-glucans content of the material.

(3) Materials produced by combinations of the above two mentioned procedures.

(4) Milled oat grain or bran, which may have been heat treated prior to de hulling and milling, in which the β-glucans containing sub-aleurone and aleurone components of the grain has been enriched by physical means such as air classification, which may have also been further treated with ethanol or other such solvent to reduce fat and sugar content, thereby further enriching the β-glucans content. These materials also contain most of the insoluble bran type fibre from the grain.

This list should not be regarded as exhaustive as any preparation from oat or barley grain and/or bran which contains β-glucans with an average molecular weight greater than 350,000 Daltons, can be utilized in the invention. It is understood by those skilled in the chemistry and processing of cereals that these particular β-glucans are found mainly in the sub-aleurone and aleurone layers of the oat and barley grains. The material comprising β-glucans may comprise less than about 10% by weight (on a dry weight basis) of insoluble fibres, and the amount may be less than about 5 wt%, 2 wt% or 1 wt%. Insoluble fibres can affect the solubility of the material comprising β-glucans, which may affect the commercial appeal of a product. In addition, higher levels of insoluble fibres may potentially have a negative impact on the mouthfeel

The β-glucans content of a material is measured according to international standard AACC method 32-23.01 . The total dietary fibre of a material is measured according to international standard AACC method

32-07.01 . The total insoluble fibre is determined by subtracting the amount of β-glucans from the total amount of dietary fibre.

In some embodiments, the material comprising β-glucans may comprise, substantially consist of or consist of PromOat ® , which is available from Tate & Lyle (for example, Tate & Lyle Trading

(Shanghai) Ltd).

Fat content The compositions described herein may contain fat, which if present, could be selected from olive oil in Extra Virgin, Virgin and cold-pressed forms, rapeseed oil which is prepared conventionally or cold- pressed, sunflower oil, soy oil, maize oil, cotton-seed oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, shea nut fats, cereal germ oil such as wheat germ oil, grape kernel oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil, linseed oil, coconut fats, butter and butter fats, hardened vegetable oils, fish oils, or any blends and combinations of these materials. This list is illustrative only and the invention of course can utilize all oils and fats coming from renewable sources and their mixtures.

In some embodiments, the fat is selected from any vegetable oil or fat, such as olive oils, rapeseed oils, sunflower oil, soya oil, maize oil, cotton-seed oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, shea nut fats, cereal germ oil such as wheat germ oil, grape kernel oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil, coconut fats; or any animal oil or fat, such as butter or butterfat or fish oils; or any combination thereof.

In some embodiments, the fat comprises, substantially consists of or consists of vegetable oil. The liquid compositions described herein may contain up to about 10 wt% fat. In the case of the solid compositions, upon dispersion to form the beverage, the beverage comprises up to about 10 wt% fat.

In some embodiments, the liquid composition or beverage may contain from 0 to about 5 wt% fat, or up to about 4 wt%, 3 wt%, 2 wt%, 1 wt%, 0.5 wt% or 0.1 wt%. In some embodiments, the beverage or liquid composition contains no fat. In other cases, the liquid composition or beverage may contain at least about 2 wt% or 3 wt% fat.

Non-dairy creamers

Non-dairy creamers are commercially available products which are used as an additive in beverages such as coffee, tea, cocoa in order to provide a substitute for dairy products such as milk or cream. Non-dairy creamers are typically liquid or granular substances. They are typically a mix of saccharides, such as a glucose or polysaccharide syrup, and fats, and may also include additives such as stabilisers, emulsifiers, colouring agents and flavours. Although described as non-dairy creamers they may nevertheless comprise one or more components derived from milk or another dairy based product, such as casein or a casein derivative.

Sucrose and/or High-intensity sweetener (HIS)

In solid compositions described herein, the sucrose content may be up to about 45 wt%, 42 wt% or 40 wt%. In some cases, the sucrose content may be up to about 33 wt% or 30 wt% of the solid composition, which are termed "reduced sugar" compositions. The sucrose content may be at least 10 wt%, 15 wt%, 20 wt% or 25 wt% of the solid composition.

In liquid compositions described herein, the sucrose content may be up to about 10 wt%, 9 wt% or 8 wt%. In some cases, the sucrose content may be up to about 6.5 wt% or 6 wt% of the liquid composition, which are termed "reduced sugar" compositions. The sugar content may be at least 2 wt%, 3 wt% or 4 wt% of the liquid composition.

In the reduced sugar compositions, a high-intensity sweetener may be added to replace the lost sweetness from the sugar reduction.

A high-intensity sweetener is any edible compound with a relative sweetness exceeding about 25, about 30, about 50, about 100, about 200, or about 500. The relative sweetness of sucrose is 1.

The HIS may be a synthetic sweetener, such as sucralose. Alternatively, it may be a natural sweetener, such as those derived from Stevia extracts. In some cases, more than one HIS may be added. The amount of HIS is selected to achieve a desired sweetness. If the volume of sucrose in the composition is reduced and replaced by a HIS, the amount of HIS is usually selected so as to replace the sweetness of the removed sugar. In other words, the amount of HIS added is selected to achieve sugar-equivalent sweetness to the amount of sugar removed. The relative sweetness of sucralose is 600. Thus, in reduced sugar compositions, the amount of sucralose added to replace sugar is typically 1/600 of the sugar removed.

In some embodiments at least 5% of the sweetness may be derived from a HIS, with the remaining sweetness being provided by sugar. In some embodiments, at least 10%, 20%, 25%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 75%, 80%, 90% or 100% of the sweetness is derived from HIS.

The amount of sucrose and HIS included in the compositions is typically selected to achieve equivalent sweetness to a corresponding solid composition comprising at least 33 wt%, 35 wt% or 40 wt% sucrose or a corresponding liquid composition comprising at least 6.5 wt%, 7 wt% or 7.5 wt% sucrose.

In some embodiments, there may be 0 wt% sugar. These embodiments usually include a high-intensity sweetener. Mouthfeel

Mouthfeel is assessed by a panel of tasters sampling comparative products. A tri-sampling system is used in which an untrained sampler is provided with two samples of one product and one sample of another product, without being told which samples are which. The sampler is then asked to identify which product is different from the other two.

In some embodiments, compositions are provided in which β-glucans are used to compensate for a proportion of at least one of the fat and sugar which would otherwise be present in the composition, with the compositions having mouthfeel no less favourable than compositions which do not comprise β-glucans and for which at least one of the fat or sugar in the composition has not been correspondingly reduced.

EXAMPLES & COMPARATIVE EXAMPLES

The following examples are used for illustrative purposes are not intended to limit the scope of the invention described herein.

Effect of β-glucans on mouthfeel

The examples and comparative examples relate to non-dairy creamers. Solid powder compositions have been mixed, as follows:

The non-dairy creamer composition used in these examples comprises glucose syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable fat, stabilisers (di-potassium hydrogen phosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, emulsifiers (sodium caseinate, mono-and diglycerides of fatty acids, sodium stearoyl lactylate), anti- caking agent (sodium aluminosilicate) and a colouring agent (β-carotene). The fat content is 35.07g/100g, the carbohydrate content is 55.33g/100g (with 81.3g/100g being carbohydrates as sugars), and the protein content is 1 .55g/100g.

The fat content of the whole milk powder is 26 wt%. The β-glucans content of PromOat ® is approximately 33-36 wt%.

Each of the sachets was dispersed into hot water (at least 90°C). The total weight of each dispersion was 200g. The control and examples 1-4 were all found to have good mouthfeel when sampled blind by a panel of testers. Cost analysis shows that the "Creamer reduction" composition of example 1 is 3.5% cheaper than the control composition. The mouthfeel of the two compositions was found to be comparable. Thus, cost savings can be made by replacing the creamer with a β-glucans rich material at a weight ratio of about 30 (i.e. (+/- 0.1 g of the β-glucans material replaces +/-3g of the non-dairy creamer), for example. The "25% fat reduction" composition of example 2 contains fewer calories than the control composition and is therefore healthier for the consumer. It is 1.4% cheaper than the control and provides a comparable (or improved) mouthfeel and taste (sampled by a panel of tasters) relative to the control sample. The "25% sugar reduction" compositions of examples 3 and 4 contain fewer calories than the control composition and are therefore healthier for the consumer. They are at least 0.6% cheaper than the control and provide a comparable (or improved) mouthfeel and taste (sampled by a panel of tasters) relative to the control sample. The dispersions formed from example 2 and from comparative example 5 were sampled blind by a panel of 15 testers. 93% of the testers indicated that the composition of example 2 was found to have a superior mouthfeel and taste. The β-glucan content of the composition in example 2 more than compensates for the effect on the mouthfeel of the reduction in non-dairy creamer (fat) content. The dispersions formed from example 4 and from comparative example 2 were sampled blind by a panel of 15 testers. 87% of the testers indicated that the composition of example 4 was found to have a superior mouthfeel and taste. The β-glucan content of the composition in example 4 results in a better mouthfeel than the maltodextrin content in comparative example 2. Effect of insoluble fibre

In a further example, 199.5g of hot water (90 °C) was added to 0.5g of material comprising β-glucans with concomitant stirring using a spoon, for 1 min. In one case, PromOat ® was used, and in a second case, Oatwell® 22 (DSM) was used.

Both samples were found to contribute to the mouthfeel. However, the Oatwell® 22 sample contains a lot of insoluble fibre (believed to be about 40 wt%), and so the mouthfeel was inferior to the PromOat ® sample. Further, solid matter (which settles out of solution) in the Oatwell® 22 sample means that this sample was aesthetically inferior, and thus commercially less useful.

DEFINITIONS AND REFERENCES

Throughout this specification, including the claims which follow, unless the context requires otherwise, the word "comprise," and variations such as "comprises" and "comprising," will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or step or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or step or group of integers or steps. "Consists essentially of" is understood to imply the exclusion of other integers except at negligible quantities, and "consists of" is understood to imply to complete exclusion of other integers.

It must be noted that, as used in the specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a fat" includes mixtures of two or more such fats, and the like. Ranges are often expressed herein as from "about" one particular value, and/or to "about" another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by the use of the antecedent "about," it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment.

The disclosure of all references cited herein, inasmuch as it they be used by those skilled in the art to carry out the invention, are hereby specifically incorporated herein reference.