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“Beauty Muffins” – a new approach to cosmetics? Opportunities and limitations of enriched foods in Swiss law


Zurich University of Applied SciencesLife Sciences and Facility Management
Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation ILGI, CH-8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland


In the field of nutrition, health has become a driving purchasing motive. Beauty and vitality (“Better-aging”) are deeply rooted needs in an aging population.
The market for “beauty from within” has been in a growth phase for years. The product types range from dietary supplements to functional foods. Above all, food with the functional additive “beauty” has particular potential. Even though the EFSA (European Food Safety) has in recent times placed severe limitations on the type of “health claims” which can be made, Euromonitor International has confirmed over the last few years the upwards trend with “beauty functionals” in the American, European and especially in the Asian market. Within the context of an internal innovation project (duration 2009 to 2010) at the Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation ILGI (ZHAW Wädenswil) the question emerged as to whether it is possible to create sensorily appealing “Beauty pastry” – taking into account current Swiss law and the technical feasibility. It should be mentioned that Switzerland, as a non-EU country, is committed to the reduction of trade barriers and to adapting Swiss food legislation to European law. This has led in recent years to constant revision of existing regulations, a continuing process which has resulted since the completion of the above-mentioned project in 2010 in changes in Swiss law to the claims being made, to labeling and to what essential substances may be added to food. The current state of affairs is elucidated below.


The respective areas of competence at ILGI, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation ILGI (ZHAW Wädenswil), cosmetics, nutrition and technology complemented each other perfectly. After distinguishing between definitions and terms such as functional foods and special foods, the food law landscape in Switzerland and Europe must be considered. Against this background, potential active ingredients (such as natural carotenoid mixture and lycopene) are selected on the basis of their chemical-physical and toxicological properties and combined with regional and/or exotic food ingredients, e.g. grape seed flour and oil, tomatoes and super fruits like Goji berries. Product prototypes (a savoury bread and a sweet muffin version) were produced in the Backwarentechnikum (school of baked goods) and were subjected to sensory testing by a semi-trained panel and judged as good or with "like". The savoury bread proved to have a tannin-astringent finish so to improve its sensory profile, the content of the rich polyphenolic grape seed flour must be optimized. The colour of the sweet muffin version with the carotenoid mixture had to be well explained to the p ...

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