Wheat and rye barn are the world’s most important cereal crop both in terms of cultivated area and kernel yield. Currently, wheat and rye bran are mainly used as a feed supplement, while the application in the food sector plays only a minor role. The interest in the use of bran in food formulation has increased gradually over the years due to its many recognized health properties. However, its current usage is too limited compared to its production rate (millions of tonnes a year) and performed without fully exploiting its wide technological and functional potential. Literature studies suggested that fermentation and some enzymatic treatments of wheat and rye bran can increase their functionality. Nevertheless, fermentation performed by selected microbial strains and consortia is the most promising way to reduce the phytate content of cereals and bran, while at the same time increasing its nutritional values and bioavailability of minerals and micro-nutrients as well as the bio-active compound and vitamin concentrations. The microbial communities are considered the most important factor to define the quality, safety, functionality and the potential scalability at industrial level of both wheat and rye ferments. Therefore, the availability of selected microbial strains and consortia is pivotal to achieve the desired quality and functionality of pre-ferments to be re-used in innovative bakery and/or nutraceutical products.
INGREEN will develop pilot scale biotechnological processes and validate selected candidates for the production of pre-ferment ingredients and bioactive compounds to be re-used in industrial environment in order to produce high quality innovative nutraceutical and bakery prototypes with improved sensory features, shelf-life and functionality. The reduction of phytate and bioactive compound production compared to the benchmarks due to the selected optimized biotechnological processes will be assessed using Bioinformatics Tools. Additionally, established milling techniques will be used to obtain fractions with the physico-chemical and functional characteristics that are required to produce the optimal pre-ferments for the bakery and nutraceutical products. Finally, the best LAB and yeast strains of interest for bakery and nutraceutical products will be characterized for their performances in realistic environments using selected fermentation technique. The products derived from the re-use of pre-fermented ingredients will be fully characterized in term of safety, shelf-life, functionalities, and sensory properties.