Scientists who have developed a low-calorie smoothie that tricks the body into feeling fuller for longer are preparing a bid to get its Health claims approved by the European Food Standards Agency, in what they hope will become a model for soft drinks industry reformulations.

Leatherhead Food Research has spent years working with the University of Sussex to show that the textural qualities of a low-calorie beverage can be manipulated to have sensory properties equivalent to a high-calorie content product, while also maintaining the same level of satiation in the short term. It is now nearing the conclusion of field tests, which will seek to show that the impact can work on consumers over a long-term period.

Sarah Hull, principal scientist, nutrition research, at Leatherhead, said the “ultimate aim” was to turn the research into a weight loss model for the industry, “highlighting how reformulation has to take into account sensorial properties as well as consumer perception of a product,” she added. The study is due to end in July with the dossier to EFSA submitted by the year-end.