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CREATE – Microorganisms to foster pulses-based healthy food

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Project data

  • Project no: GRS-092/20 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 300'000 
  • Approved: 29.10.2020 
  • Duration: 04.2021 - 03.2024 
  • Area of activity:  Microbials, seit 2016

Project management

Project description

Vitamin B12 is a limiting factor in a meat-reduced diet, folate concentrations are generally low in daily diets, and on top, an intersecting metabolism of both vitamins has been recognized favouring a concurrent intake of both vitamins. In addition, FODMAPs, that are defined as fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides, and polyols, and a typical beany taste are main factors limiting consumption of pulses and pulse-based food products. With our innovative approach, we intend to overcome these hurdles. Thus, our main goal is to ferment pea raw materials (Swiss yellow peas) with functional microorganisms to yield a protein rich fermentate with an increase in microbially built vitamin B12 and folate and a concurrent microbially based decrease in FODMAPs and, as a side benefit, a decrease in beany taste. To facilitate market access, we will build the necessary understanding of techno-functional properties to predict the material’s applicability in different end product categories. Finally, we will demonstrate the effect of fermentation on end product quality for the use cases pasta, texturized vegetable protein (TVP), and extruded snack products. The innovative idea of food products from an entire raw material without separation of protein rich from starch and fiber fractions produced by a specific fermentation process using functional microorganisms follows the main food trends and consumer preferences of naturally produced food in a clean labelling concept. This strategy highlights our unique selling proposition (USP) and meets the demands of the constantly growing segment of flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans that are generally specifically prone to natural and sustainable food products.

Status/Results

In the second project year, the interdiscipilinary team successfully selected at least 20 microbial strains showing a clear and distinct reduction of the most important FODMAPs present in pea and at least 3 folate and 36 vitamin B12 producing strains, all with very promising vitamin production capacity. In addition, the process parameters for all envisioned applications (TVP, snack and pasta) are already established and ready for corresponding application trials with fermented pea flour. First trials affirm that pea flour is a promising and versatile raw material.

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Persons involved in the project

Prof. Dr. Susanne Miescher Schwenninger, Head Food Biotechnology Research Group ZHAW; Project leader
Prof. Dr. Nadina Müller, Head Food Technology Research Group ZHAW; co-applicant
Prof. Dr. Irene Chetschik, Head Food Chemistry Research Group, co-applicant
Prof. Dr. Laura Nyström, Head Laboratory for Food Biochemistry ETHZ; co-applicant
Susette Freimüller Leischtfeld, Senior Reseracher Food Biotechnology Research Group ZHAW
Sandra Mischler, Research Associate Food Biotechnolgy Research Group ZHAW
Laila Tulinski, Research Assistant Food Biotechnology Research Group ZHAW
Beatrice Baumer, Senior Researcher Food Technolgy Research Group ZHAW
Ramona Rüegg, Research Associate Food Technolgy Research Group ZHAW
Katrin Jedrys, Laboratory Assistant Food Chemistry Research Group ZHAW
Amandine André, Post-doc Food Chemistry Research Group ZHAW
Dr. Patrick Rühs, Head of Science Planted Foods AG
Dr. Edwina Romanens, Senior Biotechnologist Planted Foods AG
Dr. Patrick Rühs, Head of Science Planted Foods AG

Last update to this project presentation  15.05.2023