The aim of the work was to develop an easy-to-follow protocol for designing novel functional products with the addition of food industry by-products using design thinking techniques. As a result, a 12-step protocol has been designed and presented. The protocol consists of steps from the initial formation of the design team, through all the stages of the production and prototyping, until establishing the final storage conditions and creating final documentation. The protocol has been validated and explained using a case study in which a fish industry by-product hydrolysate with bioactive properties was used to develop a novel functional food product for physically active people: a date bar with carp meat and carp skin gelatin hydrolysate. Following the 12 steps presented in the protocol resulted in developing a food product with high nutritional value and antioxidant power which remains stable during storage at reduced temperatures. Moreover, the product is characterized by good sensory qualities and can be easily implemented into full-scale production. The newly designed protocol is an easy-to-follow method that could be used in almost any kind of food industry sector to sucesfully develop user-focused functional food products with by-product addition.
Keywords: design thinking; food by-products; food design; functional food; protein hydrolysate; protocol.