Dr Stefano Renzetti


Stefano Renzetti works as senior scientist and project leader at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands. He holds a MSc in Food Science and Technology from the University of Bologna (Italy) and a PhD in Cereal Sciences from University College Cork (Ireland). His research activities focus on carbohydrates and proteins with applications related to topics of sugar and fat reduction, dietary fibre enrichment in bakery and confectionary products as well as in functionality of gluten-free flours. Stefano works on integrating food science and technology with fundamental theories from polymers science and on translating them into practical food applications in a quantitative way.  His research activities have helped industry in the development of new products with improved nutritional composition, as for instance sweet bakery products with no added sugars and with a concomitant fibre enrichment. Stefano is recipient of the Harald Perten prize 2018 from ICC for his contribution to the furtherance of cereal science and technology towards practical applications.



 Understanding food structuring processes in bakery products for improved formulation and nutrition design

Stefano Renzetti,

Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

Food structure largely controls the textural and sensory properties of food. Understanding the food structuring processes allows to design food with improved commercial and nutritional quality. In bakery products, structure formation during processing is largely controlled by biopolymers swelling behaviour, melting transition (i.e. starch gelatinization, protein denaturation) and subsequent formation of biopolymer networks.

This lecture demonstrates how hydrogen bonding interactions can quantitatively describe many of these structuring processes including swelling and melting transition of starch and proteins in complex formulations. Taking examples of bakery product applications, it is then shown how the structure formation pathway can be depicted in the supplemented state diagram. The predictions of the formation of protein networks and of starch gelatinization are presented and validated with experimental data, demonstrating the ability to control baking behaviour of cereal matrix from the starting formulation. Insights are also provided on the influence of the hydrogen bonding interactions on gluten structure and dough rheology during baking.

Overall, this lecture shows how key structuring transitions during preparation of bakery products can be largely predicted from physical parameters descriptive of food formulations. The described approaches hold promise for a better and more efficient design of high quality bakery products towards improved nutrition.