SATIN (SATiety INnovation) is a five-year, EU-funded project aimed at identifying food ingredients and processing methods that may accelerate satiation, suppress appetite and extend satiety via a multi-level platform approach. Satiety-enhancing foods can help with energy intake and weight control.
Considering the stakeholders of satiety-enhancing foods, there are consumers whose perception of such foods may not match the claims or are not easily understood. However, health benefits are important and many people are willing to modify their diets for better health—which includes disease prevention and weight management, as well as controlling hunger directly related to weight control.
Many food companies offer products with satiety-based claims. Consumers are increasingly familiar with the potential health benefits of these products, such as cholesterol-lowering effects. However, while satiety can offer more immediate benefits, it is not clear if messages that such products are beneficial—or the exact benefits of individual products—is adequately communicated to consumers.
Meanwhile, EFSA has clear guidance on food product claims where a beneficial physiological effect should be demonstrated within the context of a specific food. However, to date, evidence has not been provided to show that modifications to satiety, satiation or appetite are generally beneficial physiological benefits on their own. This is because to date the context of submitted claims has been focused on reduced food intake and/or body weight. However, EFSA acknowledges body weight reductions may not be the only benefit.
The mechanisms underlying beneficial effects of satiety-enhancing foods are complex processes resulting in less hunger, less opportunistic eating, better control of food intake and greater food reward. All of these can assist in achieving weight management goals, as well as overall quality of life and health outcomes. However, the benefits are realized before that final stage of weight management with improved feelings of wellbeing resulting from improved satisfaction and reduced feelings of hunger.
The satiety cascade highlights the events that occur prior to, during and following a meal with multiple mechanisms of action. Considering the context of a typical diet or even meal, various foods can impact satiety potential uniquely. Within SATIN, foods were formulated to trigger various mechanisms along the cascade. Satiety-enhancing foods put into a diet together can then target multiple mechanisms and have a greater overall impact.
Examples of products formulated within SATIN include a yogurt pudding with cognitive, sensory and pre-absorptive effects; a tomato soup with pre- and post-absorptive effects; and bakery products containing resistant starch impacting pre- and post-absorptive effects, including impacts on gut microbiota and health.
The addition of resistant starch as a fermentable substrate has shown beneficial health impacts including satiety and insulin/glucose response. These bakery products were incorporated into a study that included a lead-in maintenance diet, followed by a weight loss diet, and then control/active diet to observe maintenance following a weight loss period. The results showed an increase in total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production, and a reduction in fasting blood glucose compared to the control.
Thus, by using satiety-enhancing foods, the study had a great health impact potential. However, the approach needs to be methodical, by carefully considering the underlying mechanisms of action, specifically substantiating these actions with scientific research, and effectively translating and communicating the benefit to the consumer.
Specific targets may include:
• Change/reductions in energy intake
• Reduced hunger, when, how long
• Increased fullness, specifics
• Decreased cravings, for what, for how long
• Food choice and intake behavior, what specifically and how
• Coping with restriction, dietary control, less frustration/feelings of deprivation
In principle, all of these markers can be measured and the specific and verifiable claims can be validated, allowing the correct message to be communicated to customers.
Angela Bonnema, Ph.D., is a senior nutrition scientist in the global food research – nutrition science team at Cargill Inc. She earned her doctoral degree in nutrition science from the University of Minnesota. Bonnema’s research has included satiety, food intake regulation and appetite impacts of macronutrients, with a focus on energy balance and weight management in the carbohydrate space. Specifically, her current research includes collaboration in the EU 7th Framework Programme consortium project SATIN.
Soraya Shirazi-Beechey, Ph.D., is professor of molecular physiology and biochemistry at the Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool. She has used a comparative and an integrative approach in her research, with investigations at the level of molecules, cells, organs and the whole organism. Shirazi-Beechey has had a long-term interest in mechanisms underlying gut adaptation to a dietary change, including molecular interactions between diet, gut microbiota and host physiology and metabolism. Presently her research is supported by a number of industries, BBSRC and the European Union. Shirazi-Beechey was awarded the honorary associateship of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2011.