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Connect Talent VESTA

Towards healthy, stable, and sustainable food emulsions

Connect Talent VESTA
Connect Talent aims to support the installation and anchoring of internationally renowned scientific leaders in the Pays de la Loire Region. The VESTA project is based on an integrated and multi-scale approach, which will focus on controlling the microstructure of food emulsions in order to improve the functionality of targeted components, of plant origin and little processed, and to guarantee the physicochemical stability of the food thus produced in a more sustainable way.
The agro-food sector is facing a major socio-economic transition, with a growing demand for healthier and more natural products. It is also essential to produce our food in a more sustainable way in order to preserve the environmental systems.
These challenges require a substantial rethinking of the classical strategies involved in food production, in particular by promoting the use of ingredients of plant origin and minimally processed. For such a transition to be successful, it is crucial that the physicochemical stability of food - which conditions its sensory quality and shelf life - is ensured.
The unique and highly innovative VESTA project is based on an integrated and multi-scale approach to control the microstructure of food emulsions in order to improve the functionality of the targeted components.
It is focusing on oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions, i.e. lipid droplets dispersed in a continuous aqueous phase, which are commonly accepted systems as food models. Actually, such structures are present in many of the foods consumed daily, such as dairy products, infant formulas, condiments, soups, drinks, etc.
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Thus, the objectives of the project will be :
i) to explore the use of bio-based particles to encapsulate natural antioxidants and thus form a protective barrier on the surface of lipid droplets,
(ii) to understand and control the interfacial and emulsifying properties of protein ingredients of plant origin obtained by moderate fractionation,
 and iii) to systematically evaluate the fate of these new emulsions in digestive conditions, which will be an essential criterion for considering the transposition of the knowledge generated to industrial applications.
  • Begin-end of the project: 2021-2026
  • Funding: Connect Talent Pays de la Loire and Nantes Métropole
  • Total budget: 1M€ /funding 517 k€
  • Project leader: Claire Berton-Carabin (ISD team)