For the pizza-loving European Union (E.U.), the only way to make the popular meal even better is to make it healthier.
The E.U. has recognized that popular frozen and delivery pizza brands contain an abundance of sugar, salt, and fat that are disastrous to the health of the E.U. population. In alignment with the European Commission’s 2007 goal to create an integrated approach to reduce health risks due to poor nutrition and obesity, the E.U. now seeks to give pizza a new, healthier reputation.
The E.U. has rejected the common practice of replacing unhealthy ingredients like sugar with an additive such as aspartame, claiming that these additives often create many health problems of their own.
Instead, the E.U. has created a project known as PLEASURE that aims to develop unique food processing technologies that reduce sugar, salt, and fat in prepared foods by using biotechnological procedures. This process would mirror the enzymatic and fermentation processes currently used to reduce the sugar content of apple juice to achieve a similar result in tomato sauce and other common pizza toppings.
PLEASURE’s leading researchers have also considered using high hydrostatic pressure to improve the dispersion of salt or fat within a product. Researchers believe that if these ingredients are better distributed it could reduce the need for these products by 30 percent. This would make pizza healthier without largely affecting the taste.
The E.U. believes that changing the properties of the pizza is a better marketing strategy than creating new “low-fat” or “fat-free” products that often don’t sell very well.
While a healthier pizza may be on the horizon for the E.U., remember that you can always make pizza healthier by preparing it from scratch in your own kitchen. Try out this Roasted Garlic Pizza with Mushrooms and Spinach Recipe next time you find yourself craving a slice.