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Nutritional enhancement of probiotics and prebiotics: Technology aspects on microbial viability, stability, functionality and on prebiotic function

Contract number : QLK1-2000-30042
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 3.007.294
EC contribution : € 1.680.059
Starting date : 01/12/2000
Duration : 48 Months
Scientific Officer : Jürgen Lucas
Project website :
Prof. Dr Dietrich Knorr
Technische Universität Berlin
Lebensmittelbiotechnologie undprozesstechnik
Königin-Luise-Straße 22
14195 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-31471250
Fax: +49-30-8327662
E-mail: dietrich.knorr @

The purpose of the project is to address and to overcome specific scientific and technological hurdles that impact on the performance of functional foods based on probiotic-prebiotic interactions. Such hurdles include the lack of strong knowledge on the primary factors for probiotic viability, stability and performance as well as on probiotic-prebiotic interactions. The project will systematically explore effects of processing on functionality of probiotics and on probiotic performance, apply selected processing techniques for prebiotic modification, and use the information generated for new process and product options.


The project has three general objectives:

  • to systematically explore effects of processing on the functionality of probiotics and on the performance of prebiotics;
  • to apply selected processing techniques for prebiotic modification to identify and optimise probiotic-prebiotic combinations;
  • to use the information generated as the basis for new process and product options.

The five specific objectives are:

  • to systematically consolidate quantitative data regarding physiological and processing effects on the viability of probiotic organisms;
  • to acquire methodologically quantitative information on the processing induced stability of probiotic organisms;
  • to evaluate the potential of prebiotic-probiotic interactions for favourable effects on probiotic performance within food matrices;
  • to identify critical process parameters for targeted transformation and modification of prebiotics;
  • to obtain sufficient knowledge on processing dependent and prebiotics supported probiotic functionality in food systems.
(expected) Results and achievements

Expected achievements include the establishment of unique data sets that include the identification of critical process parameters for probiotics and prebiotics and results from systematic studies suggesting means to overcome existing process and product limitations. The compilation of protocols for probiotic performance, prebiotic function and probiotic-prebiotic interactions will also be provided. Further, it is expected to establish probiotic viability models and functionality biomarkers. In addition, it is attempted to achieve optimisation of probiotic viability, stability in culture and real food systems at pilot plant scale, generation and modification of unique prebiotics, of probiotic interactions and of environmentally and processing induced functionality of probiotics. Application of the expected results will lead to new process concepts for probiotics, for prebiotics and for probiotic-prebiotic combinations. Special emphasis of the development of product concept will be on cereal and dairy-based products and on the development and incorporation of unique plant based prebiotics for optimum interaction between prebiotics performance and probiotics function.


Wageningen Agricultural University
Department of Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences
Bomenweg 2
PO Box 8129
6703 HD Wageningen
The Netherlands
Lund University
Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry
Getingevägen 60
P.O. Box 124
221 00 Lund
National University of Ireland
University College Cork
Dept. of Microbiology
National Food Biotechnology Centre
Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT Biotechnology and Food Research
Tietotie 2
PO Box 1500
02044 VTT Espoo
Nestec S.A.
Nestlé Research Center
Department of Bioscience
PO Box 44
1000 Lausanne Cedex 26
Valio Ltd
Meijeritie 4
PO Box 30
00039 Helsinki
Danisco Cultor Innovation
Sokeritehtaantie 20
02460 Kantvik
Tiense Suikerraffinaderij NV
Aandorenstraat 1
3300 Tienen

Fifth Framework Programme

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