By Sophie Bowers and Gabrielle Smith //
When developing a new food product, it is important to not just focus on a single factor, but encompass all quality aspects. It is essential for the product to be accepted by the target market. The organoleptic qualities including the aroma, appearance, texture and taste are all therefore important, however the nutritional quality is equally as significant. When substituting an ingredient, this is even more imperative.
The research project that I worked on looked at the effect of texturised soy protein (TSP) and nutritional yeast on the instrumental and sensory quality of hybrid beef meatballs. By substituting quantities of beef and replacing it with TSP and yeast, analyses was carried out to evaluate the effect and determine the most desirable and best meatball recipe.
In conclusion, the evidence suggested that partial substitution could be successful in beef meatballs. The meatballs prepared with 15% TSP and nutritional yeast were the most preferred organoleptically and also positively benefitted the nutritional composition by reducing the fat content and increasing the protein content.
From completing the UROS project, I have gained an invaluable insight into the planning stages of a project as well as the continuous management required throughout to ensure its completion. I found, at times, balancing the project with my full-time job could be demanding, but it was rewarding after each part of the project was completed.
After completing the project on substitution of beef in meatballs, it has made me want to research further into this topic of interest as I feel that it would be beneficial to the food industry, both in the meat industry and general food industry through principle. It is also an area that I have great awareness of and interest in. The project could also influence my topic of choice for my independent project that I am undertaking for my final year. The scheme has allowed me to develop my time management skills which will be essential when carrying out my final year independent research project.
When working with researchers, I have been able to gain knowledge and develop my own skillset from their experience. Through working in a team, I have further developed my interpersonal skills and noticed the significance of communicating effectively as messages can be easily misinterpreted. It has allowed me to value the importance of time management. When problems arise, it is important to use your initiative to enable the project to resolve the problem promptly and smoothly. I have realised that it is quite common in research projects for issues to appear which need to be resolved quickly.
Through designing and making the poster in Photoshop, I have been able to acquire basic skills in using the software. This allows me to use the software in the future if the opportunity arises, for either my studies or employment. It has helped me to understand the importance of creating a visually appealing poster whilst also including important scientific information and data, ensuring it is clear, interesting and informative.
I enjoyed seeing how the data collected for the project was able to be relayed back to the original samples made. With the data collected from the proximate, sensory, texture and colour analyses, it was possible to see the full picture with how the addition of soy and nutritional yeast affected beef meatballs.
*To view Sophie and Gabrielle’s project poster, please click on the thumbnail below: