A European Union (EU)-funded research project has developed a number of novel enzymes that can boost food texture and quality, with its participants claiming they can even make low-fat yoghurts seem rich and creamy.

CROSSENZ project members are now investigating bringing these biotechnological developments to market. Dr Jakob Nielsen from the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences said the project had been "cross-linking enzymes", which can improve "gel strength, thermal stability, viscosity, volume and water-holding capacity". The technology will be applied to ice creams, yoghurts, cheese, jams, margarine, chocolate and certain fine foods, he said.

Other members of the consortium include Danisco, Finland's Raisio and VTT Biotechnology. The EU spent €1.6m (US$1.9m) on the project. Researchers screened 600 microbial and plant strains, characterising their pH balance, temperature, gene structure and other constituents, then, said a European Commission note, developing large scale production methods, testing their use in bakery, meat and dairy products.