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Title:
FOOD COMPOSITION COMPRISING DEHYDRATED POTATO MATERIAL AND AN ANTIOXIDANT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/048037
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material and an antioxidant system. In particular, the invention relates to such a food composition wherein the dehydrated potato material is dehydrated mashed potato. In a first aspect the invention provides a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, and an antioxidant system comprising ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 µm, and the particles of the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 µm; and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3. According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, and an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of i) contacting an apolar extractant with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 µm, sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 µm, and rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 µm, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and ii) optionally separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders. The invention also relates to a method for improving the storage stability of a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material and to use of a combination of ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder as an antioxidant system in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material.

Inventors:
SPRAUL MARTIN (DE)
JONAS VOLKER (DE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2020/074899
Publication Date:
March 18, 2021
Filing Date:
September 07, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
UNILEVER IP HOLDINGS B V (NL)
CONOPCO INC D/B/A UNILEVER (US)
International Classes:
A23L19/15; A23L27/14
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002007536A22002-01-31
WO2019115761A12019-06-20
WO2012103637A12012-08-09
WO2015159841A12015-10-22
WO2002007536A22002-01-31
WO2019115761A12019-06-20
WO2012103637A12012-08-09
Foreign References:
JPH099921A1997-01-14
RU2464815C12012-10-27
JPH099921A1997-01-14
RU2464815C12012-10-27
JP2015039311A2015-03-02
Other References:
D. HADZIYEVL. STEELE: "Dehydrated mashed potatoes - chemical and biochemical aspects", ADVANCES IN FOOD RESEARCH, vol. 25, 1979, pages 55 - 136, XP002801142
D. HADZIYEVL. STEELE: "Dehydrated mashed potatoes - chemical and biochemical aspects", ADVANCES IN FOOD RESEARCH, vol. 25, 1979, pages 55 - 136
M. WILLARD: "Potato Processing: Past, Present and Future", AMERICAN POTATO JOURNAL, vol. 170, pages 406 - 418
REDONDO-CUEVAS, LUCIACASTELLANO, GLORIARAIKOS, VASSILIOS, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol. 52, no. 11, November 2017 (2017-11-01), pages 2422 - 2428
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOERMA, Caroline (NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Food composition comprising a) dehydrated potato material, and b) an antioxidant system comprising i) ginger powder, ii) sage powder, and iii) rosemary powder; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the particles of the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm; and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3.

2. Food composition according to claim 1, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1.

3. Food composition according to claim 1 or 2 wherein the particles of the ginger powder, sage powder and rosemary powder have a particle size of less than 315 pm.

4. Food composition according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the antioxidant system also comprises pepper powder, wherein the particles of the pepper powder have a size of less than 500 pm.

5. Food composition according to claim 4, wherein the ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), and pepper powder (P) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of

G : S: R : P = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2.

6. Food composition according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the antioxidant system also comprises clove powder, wherein the particles of the clove powder have a size of less than 500 pm.

7. Food composition according to claim 6, wherein the ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), and clove powder (C) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of

G : S: R : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.2 to 0.6.

8. Food composition according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), pepper powder (P), and clove powder (C) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of

G : S : R : P : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2 : 0.2 to 0.6; preferably

G : S : R : P : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44 : 0.18 : 0.22.

9. Food composition according to any one of claims 1 to 8, comprising the ginger powder, the sage powder, the rosemary powder and, if present, the pepper powder and/or the clove powder in a total dry amount of from 0.005 to 5 percent by weight of the composition, preferably from 0.01 to 2 percent, more preferably from 0.03 to 1 percent, and even more preferably from 0.04 to 0.3 percent by weight of dry matter of the composition.

10. Food composition comprising a) dehydrated potato material, and b) an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of i) contacting an apolar extractant with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises:

(1) ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 pm,

(2) sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm,

(3) rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and ii) optionally separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders.

11. Food composition according to any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the dehydrated potato material is dehydrated mashed potato and wherein the dehydrated mashed potato is preferably present in an amount of at least 10% by weight of dry matter of the composition.

12. Food composition according to claim 11, wherein the dehydrated potato is selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes and combinations thereof.

13. Method for improving the storage stability of a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, preferably dehydrated mashed potato, more preferably dehydrated mashed potato selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes and combinations thereof, the method comprising the step of contacting the food composition with an antioxidant system comprising a) ginger powder, b) sage powder, and c) rosemary powder; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm; and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and/or the method comprising the step of contacting the food composition with an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of i) contacting an apolar extractant, preferably an edible oil, with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises:

(1) ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 pm,

(2) sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm,

(3) rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and ii) optionally separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders.

14. Use of a combination of ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, preferably dehydrated mashed potato, more preferably dehydrated mashed potato selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes, and combinations thereof; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm, and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3.

15. Use of a combination of ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder

(R), in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, according to claim 14 wherein the combination also comprises pepper powder (P) and clove powder (C) as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm and the sage powder, rosemary powder, pepper powder and clove powder have a size of less than 500 pm, and wherein said powders are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R : P : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2 : 0.2 to 0.6.

Description:
FOOD COMPOSITION COMPRISING DEHYDRATED POTATO MATERIAL AND AN ANTIOXIDANT SYSTEM

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material and an antioxidant system. In particular, the invention relates to such a food composition wherein the dehydrated potato material is dehydrated mashed potato. The invention also relates to a method for improving the storage stability of a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material and to use of a combination of ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder as an antioxidant system in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Dehydrated potato, especially dehydrated mashed potato is a very common foodstuff. Dehydrated mashed potato is often prepared is in the form granules or flakes, by well- known manufacturing processes as described for instance by D. Hadziyev and L. Steele, Dehydrated mashed potatoes - chemical and biochemical aspects, Advances in Food Research. Vol. 25, pages 55-136 (1979), and M. Willard, Potato Processing: Past, Present and Future, American Potato Journal, vol 170, pages 406 to 418.

One reason why consumers prefer dehydrated potato products is their convenience, especially in terms of storage, since fresh potatoes are perishable by their very nature. However, dehydrated potato material, especially potato granules and flakes are also known to be sensitive to degradation during storage. In particular, it has long been recognised that off-tastes may arise due to autoxidation and Maillard-like reactions that progress under the influence of oxygen, light or even autonomously. Thus, the colour, taste, flavour, odour, or nutritional value of foodstuffs containing dehydrated mashed potato would be negatively impacted by such deterioration. It renders a composition sensorially less attractive and may even make it down-right inedible. Consequently, this sensitivity greatly imparts the shelf life of such foodstuffs.

This means that there is a persistent need for protective measures, e.g. in the form of protective packaging and/or by using antioxidants. However, packaging with strong barrier properties comes at a significant economic and environmental cost. Similarly, antioxidants that are used in potato flakes and granules, such as BHT are usually of synthetic origin. The general appreciation of antioxidants that are perceived by consumers as chemical or artificial products, is declining in favour of more natural antioxidants. Indeed, antioxidant efficacy has been ascribed to plants and plant-derived products. For example, rosemary powder is an effective antioxidant [Redondo-Cuevas, Lucia ; Castellano, Gloria ; Raikos, Vassilios, International Journal of Food Science & Technology, November 2017, Vol.52(11), pp.2422-2428]

A major drawback of many herbs and spices with pronounced antioxidant activity is that they also have a specific and usually strong sensory profile. That is, their taste, flavour and/or aroma are so strong that they are likely to dominate the overall sensory impression of a food product when they are present at levels that would provide sufficient antioxidant efficacy. Therefore, the use of herbs and spices as antioxidants is generally limited to only such food stuffs in which their sensory contribution is tolerated.

Thus, for example, JP09-009921A discloses an anti-oxidative sausage and its production, involving spices with antioxidant activity. RU2464815C1 discloses vegetal seasoning compositions for pork, beef, chicken, fish, potatoes, pasta and rice, providing an extended storage life. JP2015-039311 A discloses a spice mix useful for fried food, which provides less deterioration of flavour over time. WO2015/159841 A1 discloses a spice mix used in e.g. seasoning for cooking with heat. W002/07536 A2 discloses the provision of potato flakes with improved flavour retention, based on a process that leaves more potato cells intact. WO2019/115761 A1 relates to an extruded food product comprising flaxseed (linseed) and/or hempseed raw materials. WO2012/103637 A1 discloses antioxidant synergies in the context of functional foods directed at maintaining/promoting homeostasis in the (human) body.

Moreover, food compositions comprising dehydrated potato come in many variants, many of which have a relatively neutral taste, just like cooked native potatoes.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide food compositions comprising dehydrated potato with an antioxidant system that yields antioxidant efficacy using mainly or only plant-based materials. In particular it is an object to provide such efficacy in a manner that allows a reduction of the overall amount of antioxidant materials present in the food composition. It is a general object of the present invention to overcome or ameliorate problems in the prior art related to oxidation and/or rancidity and/or light sensitivity and/or shelf life in food products comprising dehydrated potato material, especially dehydrated mashed potato in the form of flakes and/or granules. Similarly, it is also an object of the present invention to provide a food composition comprising dehydrated potato, which exhibits such improved sensorial stability, oxidative stability, light stability and/or storage stability. Likewise, it is an object of the present invention to improve the shelf life of food compositions that comprise dehydrated potato, especially dehydrated mashed potato.

It is yet another object of the present invention to enable the provision of antioxidant efficacy to such a food composition without negatively impacting its sensory profile. It is a further object of the invention to provide such improvements by the use of an antioxidant system which is natural or perceived as natural. It is therefore also an object of the invention to provide a way to reduce the amount of non-natural antioxidants in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato whilst maintaining the benefits of the presence of such an antioxidant.

DEFINITION OF THE INVENTION

We have found that one or more of these objects can be achieved by the present invention. Thus, it was surprisingly found that an antioxidant system based on a combination of ginger powder, sage powder and rosemary powder is capable of providing the above-described desired benefits, and typically to a stronger degree than would be expected on the basis of their individual efficacies, provided that the powders have an appropriate particle size and are combined together in appropriate ratios. Hence, it was found that such an antioxidant system provides for a longer shelf life and/or is capable of decelerating or even suppressing ageing-induced, light-induced and/or rancidity-induced deterioration of the quality of food compositions comprising dehydrated potato material.

Accordingly, in a first aspect the invention provides a food composition comprising a) dehydrated potato material, and b) an antioxidant system comprising i) ginger powder, ii) sage powder, and iii) rosemary powder; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the particles of the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm; and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in the antioxidant system in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3.

Surprisingly, it was also found that the same benefits can also be achieved with an antioxidant system obtainable by extraction of a combination of ginger powder, sage powder and rosemary powder, provided that the powders have an appropriate particle size and are extracted in appropriate ratios.

Therefore, according to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a food composition comprising a) dehydrated potato material, and b) an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of i) contacting an apolar extractant with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises:

(1) ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 pm,

(2) sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm,

(3) rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and ii) optionally separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders.

Here, it is particularly preferred that the apolar extractant is an edible oil. The benefits of the above antioxidant systems are particularly useful in food compositions comprising dehydrated mashed potatoes. Therefore, the dehydrated potato material in the food composition according to or used in any aspect of the invention preferably is dehydrated mashed potato. Even more preferably, the dehydrated potato is selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes and combinations thereof.

In the food compositions of the invention, the combination of ginger powder, sage powder and rosemary powder as specified (or the antioxidant system obtainable from it) provides particularly advantageous stabilizing properties and oxidation-decelerating, oxidation-inhibiting or anti-autoxidative effects. The combination is particularly well suited to reduce or to avoid altogether undesired flavours and/or tastes that are formed or have formed by oxidative degradation, autoxidation, light-exposure, and/or Maillard reactions respectively, or to slow down their formation. Thereby, advantageously a better sensorial durability and stabilization of any food composition comprising dehydrated potato material and also containing the specified combination can be achieved.

It was furthermore found that the beneficial properties of the antioxidant system may be further enhanced by the inclusion of black pepper powder and/or clove powder as specified hereinbelow.

According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method for improving the storage stability of a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, preferably dehydrated mashed potato, more preferably dehydrated mashed potato selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes and combinations thereof, the method comprising the step of contacting the food composition with an antioxidant system comprising a) ginger powder, b) sage powder, and c) rosemary powder; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm; and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and/or the method comprising the step of contacting the food composition with an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of i) contacting an apolar extractant, preferably an edible oil, with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises:

(1) ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 pm,

(2) sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm,

(3) rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and ii) optionally separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders.

A fourth aspect of the invention pertains to the use of a combination of ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, preferably dehydrated mashed potato, more preferably dehydrated mashed potato selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes, and combinations thereof; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm, and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3.

A fifth aspect of the invention pertains to the use of a combination of ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), pepper powder (P) and clove powder (C) as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, preferably dehydrated mashed potato, more preferably dehydrated mashed potato selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes, and combinations thereof; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm and the sage powder, rosemary powder, pepper powder and clove powder have a size of less than 500 pm, and wherein said powders are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R : P : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2 : 0.2 to 0.6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Any feature of one aspect of the present invention may be utilised in any other aspect of the invention. The word “comprising” is intended to mean “including” but not necessarily “consisting of’ or “composed of.” In other words, the listed steps or options need not be exhaustive. It is noted that the examples given in the description below are intended to clarify the invention and are not intended to limit the invention to those examples per se. Similarly, all percentages are weight/weight percentages unless otherwise indicated. Moreover, weight percentage (wt. %) is based on the total weight of the product unless otherwise stated. Except in the operating and comparative examples, or where otherwise explicitly indicated, all numbers in this description indicating amounts of material or conditions of reaction, physical properties of materials and/or use are to be understood as modified by the word “about”. Unless specified otherwise, numerical ranges expressed in the format "from x to y" are understood to include x and y. When for a specific feature multiple preferred ranges are described in the format "from x to y", it is understood that all ranges combining the different endpoints are also contemplated. For the purpose of the invention ambient temperature is defined as a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius.

All ratios by weight as specified herein (in particular with regard to the plant powders of the invention) relate to weight ratios by dry weight of the respective powders.

The term “potato” as used herein refers to the tuber of the potato plant (e.g. Solanum tuberosum ). Food composition

According to the first aspect and the second aspect, the invention provides food compositions as specified above. The food composition can suitably be in any form that customarily includes a dehydrated potato component.

A food composition in the context of the present invention encompasses, but is not limited to, food products including dry soups, dry sauces, dry savoury concentrates (including those in powder form, granulated form, pressed or extruded form, or in the form of a paste), spreads, salad dressings, dairy products, beverages, dietetic foods, dietary supplements, and others. The composition may contain ingredients common in the art and may be made by methods common in the art.

The food composition typically contains less than 9 wt.% water. More preferably, the food composition contains 1-8 wt.% water. Most preferably, the food composition contains 2-7 wt.% water. The water content in the food composition can be measured by any standard method including drying the food composition and comparing the weight before and after drying.

The food composition according to the invention preferably has a water activity of less than 0.65, more preferably less than 0.5, even more preferably less than 0.4, more preferably less than 0.3 and preferably more than 0.15.

Dehydrated potato material

The food compositions of the first and second aspects and in all other aspects of the invention comprise dehydrated potato material. Preferably, the dehydrated potato material comprises dehydrated mashed potato. More preferably, the dehydrated potato material is dehydrated mashed potato. The two most common types of dehydrated mashed potato are dehydrated mashed potato flakes and dehydrated mashed potato granules. These two formats originate from two different, well-known manufacturing processes, see D. Hadziyev and L. Steele, cited above.

Potato granules are typically prepared using an add-back process. Typical basic features of such a process are: peeling, slicing, pre-cooking or water-blanching, and water-cooling; followed by steam-cooking, mashing-mixing (for example with about two parts of recycled dry granules), conditioning, remixing, air lift drying, fluid bed drying, and cooling and sieving.

Potato flakes, in contrast, are typically prepared by a process that does not include or require add-back, but involves drying of potato mash on a drum dryer followed by size reduction and selection, for instance by milling (e.g with a hammer mill) and sieving.

Therefore, the dehydrated potato is preferably selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes and combinations thereof. It is even more preferred that the dehydrated potato material is in the form of flakes.

Alternatively, it is also preferred that the dehydrated potato material is in the form of granules.

The food composition of the present invention may comprise the dehydrated potato material at many different levels. For example, it may be its main component (such as in typical instant mashed potato products), but much lower levels are also contemplated, e.g. in certain instant soups and similar (instant) products.

Therefore, the dehydrated mashed potato is preferably present in an amount of at least 5% by weight of dry matter of the composition. More preferably, the dehydrated mashed potato is present in an amount of at least 10%, even more preferably at least 15%, and still more preferably at least 20% by weight of dry matter of the composition. In some product formats, the dehydrated mashed potato is preferably present in an amount of from 5 to 50, more preferably from 10 to 40% by weight of dry matter of the composition. In other product formats, the dehydrated mashed potato is preferably present in an amount of at least 40%, more preferably at least 50%, even more preferably at least 60%, still more preferably at least 70 % and yet more preferably at least 80% bt weight of dry matter of the composition.

Antioxidant system of the first aspect of the invention

Ginger powder Ginger powder is a well-known spice. It is prepared from the rhizome of the ginger plant, also known as Zingiber officinale Roscoe. Sage powder

Sage powder is a well-known herb powder, normally prepared from the leaves of plants from the genus Salvia. Two species (and their cultivars and hybrids) are commonly used for the preparation of sage powder: Salvia officinalis L. and Salvia fruticosa (triloba). The latter is also known as Salvia triloba L and as Greek sage. Both S. officinalis and S. fruticosa are equally suitable for use in the present invention. Sage powder from Salvia fruticosa (triloba) is preferred in some applications, whilst sage powder from Salvia officinalis L. is preferred in other applications.

Rosemary powder Rosemary powder also is a well-known herb powder, which is prepared from the leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis L.

The above plant powders (ginger powder, sage powder, rosemary powder) are typically prepared from the fresh leaves (for sage and rosemary) or rhizome (for ginger) by known methods of preparation, as any commonly used ginger, sage or rosemary powder is suitable for use in the present invention. Such methods of preparation normally involve a combination of heat treatment (e.g. pasteurization), drying (e.g. air drying) and grinding. All three plant powders are generally available as dehydrated powders. Thus the water content of the ginger powder, the sage powder and the rosemary powder used in the present invention is preferably at most 20 wt%, more preferably at most 15 wt% and even more preferably at most 12 wt% by weight of the dry matter of the particular powder. These water contents apply both to the powders of the individual species and to the combined plant powders. Ratios

The ratios by weight in which the plant powders are present are important for obtaining the surprising effects of the invention. Therefore, the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3.

The antioxidant efficacy or any of the related effects may be further enhanced by further adaptation of the ratios.

Therefore, the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are preferably present in the antioxidant system at a weight ratio of G : S : R = 0.7 to 2 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.5 to 1.5; more preferably

G : S : R = 0.84 to 1.96 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.6 to 1.4; even more preferably

G : S : R = 0.98 to 1.82 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.7 to 1.3; still more preferably

G : S : R = 1.12 to 1.68 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.8 to 1.2.

It is particularly preferred that

G : S : R = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1; and yet more preferably

G : S : R = 1.33 to 1.47 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.95 to 1.05.

Not only the above G : S : R ratios are preferred, but also the individual pair-wise ratios therein are independently preferred. For example it is preferred that G : S = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 or that G : R = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1.

It is also preferred that the ginger powder and the rosemary powder are present in a weight ratio of between 1:1 and 2:1, more preferably between 1.2:1 and 1.8:1, and even more preferably between 1.3:1 and 1.5:1.

Similarly, it is also preferred that the ginger powder and the sage powder are present in a weight ratio of between 1:1 and 2:1, preferably 1.2:1 and 1.8:1, more preferably 1.3:1 and 1.5:1. Likewise, it is also preferred that the sage powder and the rosemary powder are present in a weight ratio of between 2: 1 and 1:2, more preferably 1.5:1 and 1:1.5 and even more preferably between 1.2:1 and 1:1.2.

Other herb or spice powders may be added to the combination of ginger, sage and rosemary powder in the antioxidant system to further enhance their antioxidant or related properties. Such spice powders include pepper powder and clove powder. Pepper powder

Pepper powder surprisingly provided an unexpectedly strong enhancement of the antioxidant efficacy in the antioxidant system of the first aspect of the invention. Thus, the antioxidant system preferably also comprises pepper powder, wherein the particles of the pepper powder have a size of less than 500 pm. Here, pepper powder means any one of the well-known powdered spices that are prepared from the fruits of Piper nigrum L. These fruits (peppercorns) are in common use as a spice in different forms, depending inter alia on the time of harvest (ripe/unripe) and/or their processing. Thus, it is preferred that the pepper powder is peppercorn powder. The spices “black pepper”, “white pepper”, and “green pepper” all stem from such peppercorns and each of them is highly suitable for use in the present invention. It is particularly preferred that the pepper powder is black pepper powder.

Pepper powder is generally available as a dehydrated powder. Thus the water content of the pepper powder is preferably at most 20 wt%, more preferably at most 15 wt%, even more preferably at most 12 wt% and still more preferably at most 10 wt% by weight of the dry matter of the particular powder.

The efficacy of the pepper powder in the combination of plant powders used in the present invention is also further enhanced if the pepper powder is used in certain ratios with regard to the other powders.

Therefore, it is preferred that in the antioxidant system of the first aspect of the present invention the ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), and pepper powder (P) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R : P = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2.

More preferably, these powders are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : P = 0.7 to 2 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.2 to 0.6; more preferably

G : S : R : P = 0.84 to 1.96 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.24 to 0.56; even more preferably

G : S : R : P = 0.98 to 1.82 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.28 to 0.52; still more preferably G : S : R : P = 1.12 to 1.68 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.32 to 0.48.

It is particularly preferred that

G : S : R : P = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44; and yet more preferably

G : S : R : P = 1.33 to 1.47 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.38 to 0.42; and still yet more preferably

G : S : R : P = 1.36 to 1.44 : 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.39 to 0.41.

Not only the above G : S : R : P weight ratios are preferred, but also all individual pair wise ratios therein are independently preferred. For example it is preferred that G : P = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.36 to 0.44 or that S : P = 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44. Similarly, it is even more preferred that G : P = 1.33 to 1.47 : 0.38 to 0.42 and still more preferred that G : P = 1.36 to 1.44 : 0.39 to 0.41. These G : P pair-wise weight ratios are especially preferred because a synergistic interaction enhancing the antioxidant activity of the combination of ginger and pepper.

Clove powder

Clove powder surprisingly provided an unexpectedly strong enhancement of the antioxidant efficacy in the antioxidant system in the food composition of the first aspect of the invention. Thus, the composition of the invention preferably comprises clove powder, wherein the particles of the clove powder have a size of less than 500 pm. Here, clove powder refers to the well-known spice prepared from the unopened buds of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) MERR. & Perry, the clove shrub. Any clove powder prepared in a commonly used way is suitable for use in the present invention. Suitable methods of preparation normally involve a combination of heat treatment (e.g. pasteurization or steam treatment), drying (e.g. air-drying) and grinding. Clove powder is generally available as a dehydrated powder. Thus the water content of the clove powder is preferably at most 20 wt%, more preferably at most 15 wt%, even more preferably at most 12 wt% and still more preferably at most 10 wt% by weight of the dry matter of the particular powder.

The efficacy of the clove powder in the combination of plant powders used in the present invention is also further enhanced if it is used in certain ratios with regard to the other powders.

Therefore, it is preferred that in the antioxidant system, the ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), and clove powder (C) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.2 to 0.6.

More preferably, these powders are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : C = 0.7 to 2 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.1 to 0.3; more preferably

G : S : R : C = 0.84 to 1.96 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.12 to 0.28; even more preferably

G : S : R : C = 0.98 to 1.82 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.14 to 0.26; still more preferably

G : S : R : C = 1.12 to 1.68 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.16 to 0.24.

It is particularly preferred that

G : S : R : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.18 to 0.22; and yet more preferably

G : S : R : C = 1.33 to 1.47 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.19 to 0.21; and still yet more preferably

G : S : R : C = 1.36 to 1.44 : 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.19 to 0.21.

Not only the above G : S : R : C weight ratios are preferred, but also all individual pair wise ratios therein are independently preferred. For example it is preferred that G : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.18 to 0.22 or that S : C = 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.18 to 0.22. Similarly, it is even more preferred that S : C = 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.19 to 0.21 and still more preferred that S : C = 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.19 to 0.21.

In view of the above, it is particularly preferred that the antioxidant system comprises pepper powder and clove powder, wherein the particles of the pepper powder and the clove powder have a particle size of at most 350 pm. Consequently, it is also preferred that in the antioxidant system of the food composition of the first aspect of the present invention the ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), pepper powder (P), and clove powder (C) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : P : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2 : 0.2 to 0.6.

More preferably, these powders are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : P : C = 0.7 to 2 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.5 to 1.5 : 0.2 to 0.6 : 0.1 to 0.3; more preferably

G : S : R : P : C = 0.84 to 1.96 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.6 to 1.4 : 0.24 to 0.56 : 0.12 to 0.28; even more preferably

G : S : R : P :C = 0.98 to 1.82 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.7 to 1.3 : 0.28 to 0.52 : 0.14 to 0.26; still more preferably

G : S : R : P : C = 1.12 to 1.68 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.8 to 1.2 : 0.32 to 0.48 : 0.16 : 0.24.

It is particularly preferred that

G : S : R : P : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44 : 0.18 : 0.22; and yet more preferably

G : S : R : P : C = 1.33 to 1.47 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.95 to 1.05 : 0.38 to 0.42 : 0.19 to 0.21; and still yet more preferably

G : S : R : P : C = 1.36 to 1.44 : 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.97 to 1.03 : 0.39 to 0.41 : 0.19 to 0.21.

Particle sizes

The particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm. The sage powder, rosemary powder, and - if present - the pepper powder and/or clove powder, have a size of less than 500 pm. The size of the powders is relevant, as it was observed that if too large particles or pieces of these plants were used, their combination did not provide the enhanced antioxidant efficacy of the present invention. Therefore, the particles of the ginger powder preferably have a particle size of less than 500pm. If the particles are smaller than 500 pm, their efficacy is even further enhanced. Therefore, the particles of the plant powders (i.e. the ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder, and if present the pepper and/or clove powder) preferably have a particle size of less than 350 p , more preferably less than 315 pm, even more preferably less than 300 pm, and still more preferably less than 275 pm, yet more preferably less than 250 pm and even still more preferably less than 200 pm. These preferences apply both to the separate powders of the individual species and to their combinations.

Such more effective smaller particles may for instance be obtained by finer grinding and/or by sieving out the desired fraction.

Moreover, the efficacy of the plant powders is already improved if a fraction of the material is made smaller, for instance by further grinding without further sieving.

Preferably at least 30 wt%, more preferably at least 50 wt%, even more preferably at least 70 wt%, and still more preferably at least 90 wt% of the particles of the specified ginger powder in the composition is smaller than 500 pm. Likewise, preferably at least 10 wt%, more preferably at least 30 wt%, even more preferably at least 50 wt% of the particles of the specified ginger powder in the composition is smaller than 315 pm.

Preferably at least 50 wt%, more preferably at least 60 wt%, even more preferably at least 70 wt%, and still more preferably at least 80 wt% of the particles of the specified sage powder in the composition is smaller than 315 pm. Likewise, preferably at least 20 wt%, more preferably at least 35 wt%, even more preferably at least 50 wt% of the particles of the specified sage powder in the composition is smaller than 200 pm.

Preferably at least 50 wt%, more preferably at least 75 wt%, even more preferably at least 90 wt% of the particles of the specified rosemary powder in the composition is smaller than 315 pm. Likewise, preferably at least 10 wt%, more preferably at least 25 wt%, even more preferably at least 40 wt%, and still more preferably at least 50 wt% of the particles of the specified rosemary powder in the composition is smaller than 200 pm.

If pepper is present, preferably at least 50 wt%, more preferably at least 60 wt%, even more preferably at least 70 wt%, still more preferably at least 80 wt% and yet more preferably at least 90 wt% of the particles of the specified pepper powder in the composition is smaller than 315 pm. Likewise, preferably at least 20 wt%, more preferably at least 30 wt%, even more preferably at least 40 wt%, still more preferably at least 50 wt% and yet more preferably at least 60 wt% of the particles of the specified pepper powder in the composition is smaller than 200 pm.

If clove is present, preferably at least 10 wt%, more preferably at least 20 wt%, even more preferably at least 30 wt%, and still more preferably at least 40 wt% of the particles of the specified clove powder in the composition is smaller than 315 pm. Likewise, preferably at least 5 wt%, more preferably at least 10 wt% of the particles of the specified clove powder in the composition is smaller than 200 pm.

For the avoidance of doubt: these weight percentages are by dry weight of the plant powders of the invention. For instance, if it is specified that the composition comprises sage powder with a particle size of less than 500 pm and it is preferred that 50 wt% of the sage particles is smaller than 200 pm, this means that 50 wt% of all the sage particles in the composition that are smaller than the "cut-off" size of 500 pm are also smaller than 200 pm.

In certain applications, it may also be preferred if the plant powders have a certain minimum size, for instance to make them easier to handle or easier to dose. Therefore, the particles of the plant powders of the invention preferably have a particle size of at least 0.1 pm, more preferably at least 1 pm, even more preferably at least 10 pm, and still more preferably at least 25 pm.

Plant powders with suitable sizes can be obtained by well-known methods of comminution or grinding and are generally commercially available. If desired, the particle size distribution of a plant powder can be further modified by size selection methods such as sieving or classification (e.g. air classification).

Many of the food compositions according to the invention, may also contain particles of plant material of larger sizes, for example for other reasons than their antioxidant properties, e.g. for their sensory properties or visual appearance. Thus, the compositions may also comprise larger particles or pieces of ginger, sage, rosemary, pepper and/or clove. As a consequence, the plant powders of the invention may even be present in the composition as a fraction of a plant material that also includes other particle sizes.

The particle size of the plant powders of the invention is suitably determined by sieving methods.

Preparation of the antioxidant system of the first aspect of the invention In general, the antioxidant system can be prepared by adding or mixing in the ginger, sage, and rosemary powders, and optionally the pepper and/or clove powders, together with some or all of any other ingredients if present. Typical methods of preparation will vary, as the food composition of the invention may come in numerous formats. However, general preparatory methods for such formats are known to the skilled person.

The antioxidant system typically is a system capable of inhibiting or retarding oxidation of compounds upon application in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material. It is even more preferred that the antioxidant system, upon application in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, is capable of retarding or even inhibiting any of the undesired effects of oxidation or auto-oxidation in such foods products, such as the development of rancidity, off-taste, malodour.

In view of this type of use, and in view of the benefits of the combination of plant powders when compared to more synthetic antioxidant compounds, the antioxidant system preferably comprises a relatively large amount of the powders that impart antioxidant properties to it. Therefore, the antioxidant system in the food composition according to the first aspect of the invention preferably comprises the ginger powder, the sage powder, the rosemary powder and, if present, the pepper powder and/or the clove powder in a total amount of at least 50 percent by dry weight of the antioxidant system, preferably at least 75 percent, more preferably at least 85 percent, even more preferably at least 95 percent, and still more preferably at least 98 percent by dry weight of the antioxidant system. It is most preferred that the antioxidant system consists essentially of the specified plant powders. In an antioxidant system that is considered to consist essentially of these powders, further components can be present, namely any not materially affecting the essential characteristics of the antioxidant system as described herein.

The antioxidant system preferably comprises from 20 to 50 wt-%, more preferably from 25 to 45 wt-%, even more preferably from 30 to 40 wt-%, and still more preferably 32 to 38 wt-% of the ginger powder. Similarly, the antioxidant system preferably comprises from 15 to 40 wt-%, more preferably from 20 to 30 wt-%, and even more preferably from 22 to 28 wt% of the sage powder. Likewise, the antioxidant system preferably comprises from 15 to 40 wt-%, more preferably from 20 to 30 wt-%, and even more preferably from 22 to 28 wt% of the rosemary powder. These preferred amounts are believed to further improve the antioxidant capabilities of the antioxidant system. The antioxidant system preferably also comprises pepper powder and/or clove powder as described hereinabove. Thus, the antioxidant system preferably comprises at least 1 wt-%, more preferably at least 5 wt-%, and even more preferably at least 7 wt-% of pepper powder. In view of the presence of the other components, the antioxidant system preferably comprises from 1 to 20 wt-%, more preferably from 5 to 15 wt-%, even more preferably from 7 to 13 wt-% of pepper powder. Likewise, the antioxidant system preferably also comprises at least 1 wt-%, more preferably at least 2 wt-%, even more preferably at least 3 wt-% and still more preferably at least 4 wt-% of clove powder. In view of the other components, the antioxidant system preferably comprises from 1 to 15 wt-%, more preferably from 2 to 12 wt-%, even more preferably from 3 to 10 wt-% and still more preferably from 4 to 8 wt-% of clove powder. All these weight percentages of the plant powders are dry weight percentages, i.e. the wt-% of the dry weight of the respective powders by the dry weight of the antioxidant system.

The antioxidant system can be prepared in any suitable format, especially if it is prepared separately, before it is contacted with the dehydrated potato material. For instance, the antioxidant system can be a liquid, a concentrated liquid, a paste, a dry composition (including a dry granulate or a dry powder). Preferably, the antioxidant system (before contacting with the dehydrated potato material) is in dry powder format, even more preferably, it is a free-flowing dry powder. Possible advantages of the latter format are ease of preparation, good stability and ease of dosing in the food composition, as a free-flowing powder typically allows for easy dispersal of the antioxidant system.

Preferably, the antioxidant system comprises a) ginger powder, b) sage powder sourced from Salvia fruticosa or Salvia officinale, c) rosemary powder, d) pepper powder sourced from Piper nigrum, and e) clove powder; wherein

• the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and preferably at least 80 wt-% of the ginger powder has a particle size of less than 0.5 mm;

• the particles of the sage powder, rosemary powder and pepper powder have a size of less than 500 pm and preferably at least 80 wt-% of each of the sage, rosemary and pepper powder has a particle size of less than 0.315 mm;

• the particles of the clove powder have a particle size of less than 0.5 mm and preferably at least 50 wt-% of the clove powder has a size of less than 0.315 mm; and wherein

• the food composition has a dry matter content of at least 85 wt-% by total weight of the composition, and

• the ginger powder, the sage powder, the rosemary powder, the pepper powder, and the clove powder are present in a total amount of at least 75 percent by dry weight of the antioxidant system and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R), pepper powder (P), and clove powder (C) are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : P : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44 : 0.18 : 0.22.

It was surprisingly found that even a very limited amount of the plant powders of the invention (i.e. the ginger, sage, and rosemary powders, and optionally the pepper and/or clove powders) suffices to considerably improve the oxidative stability of the food composition of the present invention. Therefore, the food composition according to the first aspect of the invention preferably comprises the ginger powder, the sage powder, the rosemary powder and - if present - the pepper powder and/or the clove powder in a total dry amount of from 0.005 to 5 wt-%, more preferably from 0.01 to 2 wt-%, even more preferably from 0.03 to 1 wt-%, and still more preferably from 0.04 to 0.3 wt-% by weight of dry matter of the food composition.

Antioxidant benefits

In view of the above-described benefits of the combination of plant powders according to the invention, the food composition preferably has a shelf life which is longer than that of the same product without the presence of the combination of plant powders (the ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder and optionally the pepper and/or clove powder), more preferably, it has a shelf life which is at least twice as long, even more preferably at least three times as long, in particular in as far as oxidation-induced defects limit the shelf life. The same preferences also apply to the open shelf life of the food composition. Therefore, the composition preferably has a deceleration factor (DF) of at least 2, more preferably at least 2.5, still more preferably at least 3, still more preferably at least 3.5. Here, the deceleration factor (DF) is a measure for the deceleration of the occurrence of defects, in particular of rancidity in a product, in comparison to the same product without the combination of plant powders of the invention. Hence, the food composition preferably has a shelf life of at least 3 months, more preferably at least 6 months, even more preferably at least 9 months, still more preferably at least 12 months, yet more preferably at least 18 months and still yet more preferably at least 24 months. The food composition preferably has such a shelf life without relying on other antioxidants. That is, the product preferably comprises not more than 200 ppm, more preferably not more than 100 ppm, even more preferably not more than 50 ppm by weight of dry matter of non-natural antioxidants. Still more preferably, the composition is substantially free from non-natural antioxidants, such as for example BHT (butylhydroxytoluene) or BHA (butylhydroxyanisole). In this context, an antioxidant is considered non-natural in case it is not natural according to the appropriate regulations (e.g. food regulations, in case of a food composition). The combined plant powders of the invention are capable of providing stronger antioxidant efficacy than would be expected on the basis of their individual efficacies. Therefore, the ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder are preferably present as a synergistic combination. That is, they are preferably present in amounts and ratios capable of synergistically providing antioxidant efficacy, rancidity deceleration, shelf life elongation, and/or related benefits. Likewise, if pepper and/or clove is also used, the ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder, and the pepper powder and/or clove powder are preferably present as a synergistic combination.

Since only relatively small amounts of the plant powders are typically required for these benefits, the combination of plant powders preferably has a relatively neutral flavour profile. That is, it does not have a flavour profile which is too characteristic of any of the individual components. In that way, the combination of plant powders can be used in a variety of food compositions, without an undesired impact on their flavour.

Antioxidant according to the second aspect of the invention

The antioxidant system in the food composition according to the second aspect of the invention is obtainable by an extraction method. The extraction method includes the step of contacting an apolar extractant with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract. The combination of plant powders comprises ginger powder, sage powder and rosemary powder as specified.

All preferences with regard to the plant powders as specified for the first aspect of the invention, also apply to the second aspect of the invention. This includes the particle sizes and the ratios. In other words, the antioxidant system of the second aspect of the invention is preferably obtainable by extraction of a combination of plant powders that conforms to the above specifications of an antioxidant system as used in the first aspect of the invention.

Extraction method

The extraction method by which the antioxidant system can be obtained involves the step of contacting an apolar extractant with the combination of plant powders to prepare an extract. Apolar extractants are well known to the skilled person. Typical non-limiting examples of suitable apolar extractants are edible oil, pentane, hexane and supercritical carbon dioxide. In case the antioxidant system is envisaged to be used in a food composition, it is preferred that the choice of the apolar extractant is compatible with such use. Thus, it is particularly preferred that the apolar extractant is an edible oil. It is even more preferred that the apolar extractant is sunflower oil.

The extraction method optionally includes the step of separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders. In some applications, such separation will not be needed, as the presence of the residue of the plant particles is compatible with other requirements of the application. In others, it is preferred that at least 50 wt- %, more preferably at least 75 wt-%, still more preferably at least 90 wt-%, yet more preferably at least 95 wt-% of the residue of the plant powders is separated from the antioxidant system before its application in the composition of the invention. It is most preferred if substantially all plant powder residue is separated from the extract.

The separation can be carried out by any suitable method. For example, liquid-solid separation methods including sieving, filtration, centrifuging, or pressing can be used.

Before the separation step, the apolar extractant and the combination of plant particles should be contacted long enough to allow the extraction to take place. The extraction time that is required is easily optimised. Preferably, in step ii) of the extraction method, the extract is separated from the residue of the plant powders, at least 15 minutes, more preferably at least 30 minutes, even more preferably at least 1 hour and still more preferably at least 2 hours after commencement of the contacting step i).

Other extraction conditions are suitably optimised based on the choice of extractant.

For example, if the extraction is carried out with an edible oil, the contacting step preferably takes place at a temperature of between 10 and 50 °C, more preferably between 15 and 30 °C and even more preferably between 20 and 25 °C.

The weight ratio in which the apolar extractant and the combination of plant particles are contacted is easily optimised, depending for instance on the desired concentrations in the resulting extract. Generally, it is preferred that they are contacted at a weight ratio of the combination of plant powders : apolar extractant of between 1 : 1000 and 1 : 3, more preferably between 1:100 and 1:5 and even more preferably between 1:50 and 1:8.

Depending on the nature of the apolar extractant and the nature of the composition for which the antioxidant system is prepared, it is preferred in some cases that the extraction method also comprises the step of preparing a concentrated extract, by at least partially removing the apolar extractant from the extract. Especially when relatively volatile extractants are used (such as pentane, hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide), it is preferred to remove that extractant substantially completely.

If, on the other hand, an extractant is used which is compatible with the final application, no such removal is generally required. This is especially the case if the extractant is an edible oil.

Thus, it is preferred that the food composition according to the second aspect of the invention comprises an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of: i) contacting at least part of the edible oil with a combination of plant powders, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises:

(1) ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 pm,

(2) sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm,

(3) rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm; wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; ii) optionally separating at least part of the residue of the plant powders from the edible oil.

The food composition preferably comprises from 0.00025 wt-% to 0.25 wt-%, more preferably from 0.0005 wt-% to 0.1 wt-%, even more preferably from 0.0015 wt-% to 0.05 wt-% and still more preferably from 0.002 wt-% to 0.015 wt-% of the antioxidant system by dry weight of the total composition. Here, the weight of the antioxidant system is taken as the combined weight of the fractions extracted from the plant powders.

As an alternative to determining the combined weight of the extracted fractions, the dose of the antioxidant system may also be controlled by selecting a desired amount of the combination of plant particles that is extracted in relation to the amount of the food composition in which the antioxidant system is applied. Thus it is preferred that food composition comprises the antioxidant system in an amount obtained by extracting the combination of plant particles in an amount corresponding to a dry weight of from 0.005 to 5 wt-%, more preferably from 0.01 to 2 wt-%, even more preferably from 0.03 to 1 wt-%, and still more preferably from 0.04 to 0.3 wt-% by weight of dry matter of the composition.

Method

According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method for improving the storage stability of a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material. The method preferably involves contacting the dehydrated potato material with an antioxidant system as described for the first aspect of the invention and/or as described for the second aspect of the invention.

Therefore, the preferences with regard to plant powders as described for the food composition of the invention apply similarly for this method, mutatis mutandis. This applies in particular (but not exclusively) to the ratios of the ginger, sage, and rosemary powders and, if present, the pepper and/or clove powders, and their respective particle sizes.

Likewise, preferences with regard to the dehydrated potato material as described for the food composition of the invention apply similarly for this method, mutatis mutandis.

It is particularly preferred that the method involves contacting the food composition with a) ginger powder, b) sage powder sourced from Salvia fruticosa or Salvia officinale, c) rosemary powder, d) optionally pepper powder sourced from Piper nigrum, and e) optionally clove powder; wherein · the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and preferably at least 80 wt-% of the ginger powder has a particle size of less than 0.5 mm;

• the particles of the sage powder, rosemary powder and pepper powder have a size of less than 500 pm and preferably at least 80 wt-% of each of the sage, rosemary and pepper powder has a particle size of less than 0.315 mm;

• the particles of the clove powder have a particle size of less than 0.5 mm and preferably at least 50 wt-% of the clove powder has a size of less than 0.315 mm; and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R), pepper powder (P), and clove powder (C) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R : P : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44 : 0.18 : 0.22.

In the contacting step, the combination of ginger powder, sage powder, rosemary powder and optionally the pepper powder and/or clove powder preferably constitutes from 0.005 to 5 wt-%, more preferably from 0.01 to 2 wt-%, even more preferably from 0.03 to 1 wt-%, and still more preferably from 0.04 to 0.3 wt-% by weight of dry matter of the composition by weight of dry matter of the composition.

In the method of the invention, it may suffice that at least part of the food composition is contacted with the specified plant powder. Such part is preferably selected such that its amount and composition are suitable to provide the desired stability to the entire resulting food composition, as is understood by the skilled person.

Thus, in typical manufacturing processes involving potato granules and/or potato flakes, these may be contacted with the antioxidant system at any suitable stage of the processing. For instance by mixing it into the mashed potato before it is dehydrated. Alternatively, it may for instance also be contacted with granules/flakes after these have already been prepared. After the contacting, the combination of plant powders (or part of it) may optionally be separated from the food composition, or it may be left in the composition. Which option is more suitable typically depends on the type of product, its desired taste profile, the desired sensory and rheological properties of the product, etc., to match consumer expectations.

It is preferred that the combination of plant powders remains in contact with the food composition for at least 1 hour, more preferably at least 2 hours, and still more preferably at least 5 hours.

The total amount of the plant powders, their ratios, the contacting time and other process parameters may suitably be optimised to provide the required shelf-life elongation, and/or the required deceleration of oxidation-related defects.

Use

In a further aspect, the present invention also provides use of a combination of ginger powder, sage powder, and rosemary powder as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent in a food composition comprising dehydrated potato material, preferably dehydrated mashed potato, more preferably dehydrated mashed potato selected from dehydrated mashed potato granules, dehydrated mashed potato flakes, and combinations thereof; wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a size of less than 800 pm, and the sage powder and rosemary powder have a size of less than 500 pm, and wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3.

The use according to the invention preferably relates to such use of a combination of ginger powder (G), sage powder (S), rosemary powder (R), pepper powder (P) and clove powder (C) as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent, wherein the particles of the ginger powder have a particle size of less than 800 pm, and the sage powder, rosemary powder, pepper powder and clove powder have a size of less than 500 pm and wherein said powders are present in a weight ratio of G : S : R : P : C = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3 : 0.4 to 1.2 : 0.2 to 0.6; preferably

G : S : R : P : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44 : 0.18 : 0.22.

The specified combination can act as an antioxidant, a taste and smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation agent in the food composition, depending on the type of application the combination is used in. It may well have several of these functions simultaneously. In case the combination is used as antioxidant, it is preferably used as a natural antioxidant.

Preferred aspects indicated in the context of the first or second aspect of the invention are also applicable to the third aspect of the invention, mutatis mutandis.

Thus, the use is preferably optimised to provide the required shelf-life elongation, and/or the required deceleration of oxidation-induced defects. The use preferably provides a composition with a shelf life of at least 3 months, more preferably at least 6 months, even more preferably at least 9 months, still more preferably at least 12 months, yet more preferably at least 18 months and still yet more preferably at least 24 months. The product preferably obtains such a shelf life without relying on other antioxidants.

Similarly, the present invention also provides use of an antioxidant system obtainable by an extraction method comprising the steps of i) contacting an apolar extractant with a combination of plant powders to prepare an extract, wherein the combination of plant powders comprises:

(1) ginger powder having a particle size of less than 800 pm,

(2) sage powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm,

(3) rosemary powder having a particle size of less than 500 pm, wherein the ginger powder (G), the sage powder (S), and the rosemary powder (R) are present in a weight ratio of

G : S : R = 1 to 4 : 1 to 3 : 1 to 3; and iii) optionally separating the extract from at least part of the residue of the plant powders; wherein the use is as an antioxidant, a taste and/or smell protection agent, a rancidity suppression agent and/or a shelf life elongation in a food composition also comprising a dehydrated potato material. Any preference described with regard to the antioxidant system of the second aspect of the invention also applies to this use.

EXAMPLES EXAMPLE 1

Preparation of antioxidant system in powder form

Materials

Commercially available powders of the herbs and spices in Table 1 were used. For each of the powders, the weight percentage of all particles smaller than 0.5 mm, the weight percentage of all particles smaller than 0.315 mm, and the weight percentage of all particles smaller than 0.2 mm are provided, as determined by the method described below. Table 1

Powder blends

The herb and/or spice powders were weighed together into an IKA Tube Mill chamber, whereby the ginger (G), sage (S), rosemary (R), black pepper (P) and clove (C) powders were present in in weight ratios within the range of G : S : R : P : C = 1.26 to 1.54 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.9 to 1.1 : 0.36 to 0.44 : 0.18 : 0.22. . The chamber was inserted into the mill and the combination of powders was mixed at 10.000 rpm (30 sec. total mixing time; interval each 5 sec.).

Determination of particle size

A representative herb or spice sample is sieved on a sieving machine through a series of sieves (20cm) assembled according to increasing nominal aperture size from bottom to top, equipped with receiver (bottom) and lid. Commercially available test sieves are used with appropriate nominal aperture size. Suitable nominal aperture sizes are given in DIN ISO 3310-1:1990 or ISO 565:1990. For each measurement, 100 gram of sample material is weighted with an accuracy of 0.1 gram into the sieve at the top of the nest. After putting the lid on the nest of the sieves it is transferred onto the laboratory sieving machine (vibratory screening machine) and sieved for 10 minutes (amplitude 2mm; sieving aid: two stainless steel balls). After completion of the 10 minutes, the retained fraction of each sieve is weighed on an analytical balance to an accuracy of 0.1g. Each sieve charge is calculated as percentage of mass to one decimal place by dividing the residue (g) by the sample amount (100g) and multiplying by 100.

Determination of dry matter content

The water content and corresponding dry matter content of the plant powders used herein was determined by the following method, wherein the dry matter content is the residual mass after drying the sample expressed as %. For each measurement, 5 g (with 0.1 mg accuracy) of sample material (e.g. homogenized dry herb / spice) is weighed into a pre-dried, tared pan containing about 60g of pre-dried sea sand and mixed well. The pan with the sample is dried for 6 hours in a vacuum oven at 0.1 bar and 72°C. After 6 hours the pan is placed in a desiccator and allowed to cool down to ambient temperature (30-45 min). Then, it is weighed (with 0.1 mg accuracy).

Duplicate determinations of each sample are carried out. Water content, given in percent with two decimal places, is calculated by dividing the measured amount of water (mg) by the sample amount (mg) and multiplying by 100. The lower limit of quantification is 0.01 g / 100g for homogeneous samples. The method uncertainty (95%, k=2) for the determination of the water content of is 1 ,2% relative. The given uncertainty is valid for representative sampling and sample matrix “dry herbs and spices”. EXAMPLE 2

Preparation of an antioxidant system according to the second aspect of the invention Amounts of the antioxidant system of Example 1 were mixed with amounts of sunflower oil and extracted at room temperature and ambient pressure for 2 hours and 6 hours, respectively. Subsequently, the residue of the powder particles was separated from the oil, now comprising the extracted antioxidant system according to the second aspect of the invention in a total amount of 0.47 wt-%.

EXAMPLE 3 Preparation of potato flakes

A batch of 20 kg of peeled potatoes was cut into 14 mm slices using an Urschel cutting device. The slices were blanched at 80°C for 20 minutes and cooled in cold water for 20 minutes. Next, the potatoes were steamed in a Rational steam oven (100°C steam) for 35 minutes and passed over a Solia mill with a 3mm diameter screen. The resulting mix was combined with 3.5 L of water using a Hobart mixer, yielding potato mash. The potato mash was dried using a Gouda drum dryer (operated with a main drum temperature of 146 °C, a steam pressure of 3.5 bar, application drums at 24 RPM, and main drum at 6 RPM). The dried material was passed through a Frewitt hammer mill using a mesh size of 5 mm, yielding flakes of dehydrated mashed potato.

EXAMPLE 4

Preparation of commercial style potato flakes

Potato flakes comprising conventional additives (emulsifier, stabiliser and conventional antioxidant) with a composition as detailed in Table 2 were prepared following the same procedure as in Example 3, with the following changes: The blanching step was carried out in the presence of 15g Na metabisulfite in the blanching water. The additives as specified in Table 2 were added to the potato mix in the Hobart mixer.

EXAMPLES 5 AND 6 Preparation of potato flakes comprising an antioxidant system

Potato flakes comprising the antioxidant system according to the present invention as detailed in Table 2 were prepared following the same procedure as in Example 3, wherein the antioxidant system was added to the potato mix in the Hobart Mixer. Table 2

EXAMPLE 7

Storage stability of potato flakes The storage stability of the potato flakes of Examples 3-6 was determined by packing suitable amounts in aluminium-polymer laminate pouches, which were sealed without removing the air. These samples were stored (in the dark) at 5°C and 40°C for up to 8 months. The sensory properties of the flakes were determined by an expert panel, using the scale provided in Table 3. At each monitored storage time, previously unopened pouches of each of the flake types of Examples 3-6 were opened and examined. The smell of the flakes was determined both for the dry flakes taken from a pouch and for wetted flakes. To determine the taste, 25g of a flake sample was added to 150 ml of boiling water and stirred with a spoon for 1 minute.

Table 3: Scale of sensory assessment

The results of the sensory analysis at 5°C are presented in Table 4, and at 40°C in Table 5. Based on each of the three attributes, these results show that the potato flakes according to the present invention (Ex. 5 and 6) have a better storage stability than both pure potato flakes (Ex. 3) and conventionally stabilised flakes (Ex. 4) at both tested temperatures. The off-flavour notes at scores 2 and 1 were described by the expert panel as burnt potato skin, old potato, very unpleasant and inedible. Table 4 Table 5

EXAMPLE 8

Light stability of potato flakes The light stability of the potato flakes of Examples 3-6 was determined by packing suitable amounts in transparent laminate pouches, which were sealed without removing the air. These pouches were placed in a light room at 20°C, and a light intensity of 9 W/m 2 , using neon light (Philips - Master TL - D90 DE Luxe Pro- 58W/965). The sensory properties of the flakes were determined as described in Example 7 and monitored at the intervals specified in Table 6.

Table 6

The results demonstrate that the flakes according to the present invention retain acceptable sensory properties, whereas the comparative flakes are rejected after 9 or 13 days of light exposure, with off-flavour notes described as cardboard, rancid, old potato skin.

EXAMPLE 9

Rancidity development in stored potato flakes

Samples of 200g of each of the potato flakes of Ex. 3-6 were combined with 50g of anhydrous CaCh and placed in 1 L Erlenmeyer flasks. The flasks were stored in the dark at 5°C. The hexanal concentration in the headspace of each of the flasks was monitored at the intervals indicated in Table 7, using a conventional headspace GC-MS method. The results show that the antioxidant system of the present invention suppressed the development of the key rancidity component (hexanal) throughout the monitored storage period of 8 months, whereas the hexanal level in the comparative examples steadily increased.

Table 7

EXAMPLE 10

Rancidity development in potato flakes exposed to light

Samples of 200g of each of the potato flakes of Ex. 3-6 were combined with 50g of anhydrous CaCh and placed in 1 L Erlenmeyer flasks. The flasks were placed in a light room (see Ex. 8). The hexanal concentration in the headspace of each of the flasks was monitored at the intervals indicated in Table 9, using the method of Ex. 9.

Table 9

The results show that the antioxidant system of the present invention significantly slowed down the development of the key rancidity component (hexanal) throughout the monitored illumination period of 13 days, whereas the hexanal level in the comparative examples increased to unacceptable levels within several days.