Important legal notices
Home Index Introduction Index by contract number Index by coordinator Other information

Increase in nutritional value of food raw materials by addition,
activity, or in situ production of microbial nutraceuticals

Contract number : QLK1-2000-01376
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 3.594.090
EC contribution : € 2.056.446
Starting date : 01/01/2001
Duration : 48 Months
Scientific Officer : Dyanne Bennink
Project website :
Dr Jeroen Hugenholtz
Nederlands Instituut voor Zuivelonderzoek (NIZO)
Department of Flavour and Natural Ingredients
Kernehemseweg 2
6710 BA Ede
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 318 659540
Fax: +31 318 650400
E-mail: hugenhol @

This proposal's main objective is to improve the nutritional value of food raw materials and fermented food products. This will be accomplished by increasing the level of nutraceuticals in food products of dairy and soy origin. The targeted nutraceuticals are low-calory-sugars, digestion-stimulating oligosaccharides and essential B-vitamins. These components will all be produced by food-grade microorganisms. In addition, some undesirable sugars such as lactose, galactose and raffinose will be selectively removed from either dairy or soy-containing food products. The involvement of industrial partners in the area of dairy, nutritional foods and starter production ensures dissemination of the scientific results in a broad range of Food (and Pharma) applications.


The objectives are to improve the nutritional value of foods by either fermentation with nutraceutical-producing food-grade microorganisms, by addition of nutraceuticals produced as ingredients by the bacterial cells or by direct (oral) delivery of the nutraceutical-producing microorganism to stimulate food digestion.

The health-promoting foods or food components ("Nutraceuticals") targeted in this proposal can be categorised into five groups;

  • No- or low-calory sugars such as mannitol and trehalose.
  • Dairy products or dairy components with low lactose and/or galactose content and bacterial (starter) cultures with high lactose/galactose utilising activities.
  • Soy products with low raffinose content and bacterial (starter) cultures with high raffinose-converting activity.
  • Oligosaccharides as stimulants for the digestive system.
  • B-vitamins such as folic acid (B11) and riboflavin (B2).

These five groups of food components will be enhanced in different foods through production or converting-activity of specific food-grade microorganisms. The nutraceutical-producing microorganisms will either be directly selected from natural sources, or induced for high production by specific fermentation conditions, or modified by food-grade genetic engineering techniques. The resulting strains and production processes will be implemented in food fermentation by the technological involvement of industrial experts.

(expected) Results and achievements

R & D via line A will yield scientific results within one or two years and development of new or improved foods will be possible within three years. These potential products can be launched on the Food Market on short term basis since only natural strains are involved.

The scientific results obtained via r & d line B will become available after two to three years and the subsequent food products after three to four years. The results obtained will be more spectacular in the sense of bigger improvements in health status of the foods and food ingredients, but introduction on the Food (or Pharma) Market will be on a long term basis since genetically modified microorganism are involved.


University of Groningen
Department of Genetics
Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute
Kerklaan 30, P.O. Box 14
9750 AA Haren
The Netherlands
Université Catholique de Louvain
Department of Biology
Croix du Sud, 5
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
University College Cork
National Food Biotechnology Centre
Western Road
INRA Jouy-en-Josas
Unités de Recherches Laiteries et Génétique Appliquée
Domaine de Vilvert
78352 Jouy-en-Josas
Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos
Department of Biotechnology
Chacabuco 145
PO Box 211
4000 San Miguel de Tucumán
Lallemand S.A.
PO Box 4412
31405 Toulouse Cedex 4
Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica
PO Box Apartado 12
2781-901 Oeiras
Campina Melkunie BV
Cheese Division
Jules Verneweg 87
PO Box 9294
5000 HG Tilburg
The Netherlands
Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences
Diedenweg 20
PO Box 557
6700 AN Wageningen
The Netherlands

Fifth Framework Programme

PDF Version


Volume 1 (PDF 2.9 MB)


Volume 2 (PDF 1.9 MB)


Last update



[ Index ]    [ Introduction ]    [ Index by contract number ]    [ Index by coordinator ]    [ Others ]