Research

Fermentation technologies for improved nutritional quality and digestibility of wheat products

  • Term: 3 years, beginning in 2018
  • Funding Amount: $ 57,250
  • Lead Researcher(s): Michael Gaenzle (University of Alberta)
  • Funding Partners: Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC)

Project Description:

This project aims to develop fermentation technologies to reduce levels of adverse components in wheat and to improve tolerance of wheat products.

Consumers avoid wheat products because of real or perceived nonceliac gluten intolerance. Measures to restore wheat consumption are hampered by the lack of knowledge of etiological agents of non-celiac gluten intolerance. Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharide and polyols (FODMAP) and immune reactive proteins in wheat (trypsin amylase inhibitors and wheat agglutinins), contribute to intolerance of wheat in sensitive individuals. Fermentation of bread with lactic acid bacteria, sourdough fermentation, has become a major tool for bread production in Europe, and is rapidly increasing in North America. The use of lactic acid bacteria in industrial applications aims to reduce ingredient cost and to achieve “clean label” solutions by replacement of additives, and to improve the nutritional and sensory quality and the storage life of the products. Large scale fermentations are carried out at the bakery or by specialized ingredient suppliers. Sourdough also has the potential to degrade immune reactive proteins during fermentation.

Thus, the main objectives include, reduction of FODMAPs in wheat and wheat bread by fermentation with food-grade lactobacilli; and quantification of trypsin amylase inhibitors and wheat agglutinins in wheat and wheat bread fermented with addition of enzyme-active malt and lactobacilli. This research focuses on developing fermentation technologies to reduce levels of adverse components in wheat.

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