Transitioning To Healthier Diets Based On Sustainable Plant-based Fermented Foods: Eurice Partners in New EU Research Project HealthFerm
Bread, pickles, olives, sauerkraut, vinegar, kimchi, miso paste, chutneys and wine: these are just a few of the many plant-based fermented foods that are consumed in Europe and across the globe. Especially in the past decades, fermented foods have been hailed for their nutritional and perceived health benefits. Yet little is known about the impact of plant-based food fermentation on human health. The new EU research project HealthFerm will shine light on this forward-looking topic.
It has been established to better understand the interaction between food fermentation microbiomes, fermented grain-based foods and the human gut microbiome and how they support human health. At the same time, HealthFerm will use these newly gained insights alongside microbial resources and fermentation technology to develop novel, healthy and nutritious legume and cereal-based foods.
At the heart of HealthFerm lies a community-science approach for the development of innovative food fermentations. Citizens, artisans and companies will collect food fermentation microbiomes in Europe and worldwide to be analysed for their potential to devise these novel foodstuffs that can serve as alternatives to fermented dairy drinks, yoghurts and meat-based products. A specially developed online interface will support this effort.
“Our team at Eurice is excited to be part of yet another innovative food project, alongside BRESOV, AGENT, INCREASE and FoodLAND. Not only are sustainable global food systems focussing on plant-based diets becoming increasingly important in light of climate change, also the understanding on how the food we consume impacts our health needs to be better understood. Together with the 21 partners of the HealthFerm consortium we are delighted to support the project with our expertise in project management and to advance the communication, dissemination and innovation management strategies for this endeavour”, says Jörg Scherer, Managing Director of Eurice.
The project officially starts on the 1st of September 2022 and will run for a duration of four years. Funded through the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme, the project will receive a total of EUR 11.3 million. HealthFerm will be coordinated by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.