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New processing technologies to produce pizza with reduced salt, sugar and fat but retaining the original taste.
 2 min read

In Europe, a typical pizza consists of pizza dough, tomato sauce, cooked ham and mozzarella style cheese. Researchers of the EU funded Pleasure project changed the physical structuring to reduce fat and salt by using enzymes, and reduce sugar by fermentation. This was a challenge, because current equipment is not suitable for the processing of these new ingredients. Therefore, new equipment has also been developed.


A total salt, fat and sugar reduction of 30% was achieved in pizza without altering the taste or textural perception of the original. Novel approaches and tailor-made prototype machines were developed that can be used by food producers (SMEs). Pizza dough and toppings were optimized.

Pizza dough

For the reduction of salt and fat in the pizza dough, two prototype machines were developed. The first prototype is a vacuum mixer constructed by VMI, which significantly helps to reduce dough stickiness and positively contributes to its plasticity for dough sheeting. The second prototype is a dough sheeter for dough with encapsulated salt. This encapsulated salt enhances the saltiness perception of the dough by 30% in comparison to conventional pizza dough, therefore less salt can be used. The prototype dough sheeter has been assembled jointly by PROMATEC and ONIRIS. This equipment enables a defined layer of encapsulated salt to be distributed in the dough.

Pizza Toppings

The sugar content of the tomato sauce was reduced by 30% through enzymatic and fermentative sugar reductions. The developed processes are patent pending. The researchers also reduced the salt content of cooked ham. HPP treatment was applied assuring satisfying texture, taste and microbial stability. The fat and salt reduced Mozzarella-style cheese was processed through novel approaches such as enzymatic modification. The cheese has the same functionality, flavour, textural properties and microbial stability as a full-fat, full-salt cheese.

The perfect combination

There are processing technologies and processes to reduce salt, fat and sugar available for all the pizza ingredients. But what is the perfect combination? The researchers in this project reduced the salt content by 30%, while they enhanced the contrast of the salt content between the ingredients. It turned out that by putting all the salt mainly in the cheese and the tomato sauce and no salt in the dough, the sensory perception was similar to conventional pizza.


Taste enhancement

From other research we know that saltiness perception is enhanced when salt is delivered to the mouth in an inhomogeneous way. This also works for sweetness. Therefore, ice cream with a swirl of strawberry syrup is perceived as sweeter than an ice cream where the syrup is homogeneously mixed in the ice cream. Apparently, salt and sugar content in pizza can also be reduced by using this technique.


Along with the pizza system, the Pleasure project also looked into salt, fat and sugar reduction in sweet and savoury puff pastry products. If you are interested in knowing more about this topic, the prototype machines or AMADEUS you can visit or get in touch via the section below.

Want to get more information about this topic?
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Contact person:
Alexandru Rusu
Project Manager R&D
Biozoon GmbH

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