The Crispy Cracks, organised by reserach body TI food nutrition, is due to take place in the Netherlands in March 2008, and is the first ever to focus solely on the crispy quality of foods. Professor Rob Hamer, one of the scientists behind the project, told BakeryandSnacks.com that Crispy Cracks, will involve discussions on both why consumers prefer crispiness, and the methods manufacturers can use achieve this texture. "We expect presentations on new ingredients, and clever use of enzymes and process that are geared towards crispness retention," he added. The symposium, organised by science researbh body TI Foods, is the culmination of several years of scientific study on this subject. According to Hamer, several companies, including DSM and Unilever, have already entered into collaborative projects with Hamer's team to discuss the technology. "These companies want to know all the production steps necessary to keep the product as crispy as possible, such as how to set processing machines, or what temperature to set the oven," he said. According to Hamer's research, consumers rarely differ on their desire for a crispy texture in products such as snacks, baked goods and fried products. However, crispness is often lost in foods such as bread or chicken nuggets, as these products contain a high level of water. This water then swells the molecular structure of proteins within the products, which makes the molecules mobile and the product soft, Harmer said. "There you can only try and design the product in such a way that migration is delayed or water is not easily taken up by the crust," he added. The team then studied the ways of modifying the proteins responsible for crispiness, experimenting with how the molecules could be modified to keep them less moveable within a product. The use of enzymes is also very important, and TI Foods is particularly hoping that technologists involved with bakery ingredients or additives will attend the show, he added. The Crispy Cracks symposium will be help in Wageningen, the Netherlands, 19 - 20 March 2008.