Deakin University has developed a prototype tasty snack food with special health benefits.
Dr Russell Keast, a senior lecturer in the school of exercise and nutrition sciences, has developed a new snack food with a parmesan cheese cracker, organic mashed potato and special healthy additives.
He said, "This new snack has natural additives such as an anti-inflammatory agent, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc to improve brain and heart function, boost male virility and improve immunity."
Dr Keast said it was the first time the anti-inflammatory agent oleocanthal had been included in a manufactured food and research was continuing into its flavour and health promoting properties.
A natural appetite suppressant which makes the consumer feel fuller for longer, and a natural compound to increase liking for a product, have also been added to the snack food.
Samples of the snack are being presented to the food industry at a workshop at Deakin University to point the way to healthy snacks of the future.
"Overall, the snack is a vehicle for these health promoting compounds. However, it must be flavorsome and popular so people will want to eat it repeatedly," Dr Keast said.
"An agent in the snack will help prevent overeating it.
"While it is not a natural food, it is an innovative food."
Professor Andrew Sinclair, Chair in Human Nutrition in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, said the workshop aimed to bring together leaders in marketing, product development, researchers and educators, with Deakin University experts.