Food and packaging
The aim of this research area is to contribute to new knowledge that can be used in the development of food from grain or other plant-based raw materials along with packaging solutions. The area spans the entire chain from field to end consumer. The research supported should embrace sustainability, innovation and profitability. Ahead of this year’s call for proposals, we are particularly interested in the specific areas listed below:
The health benefits of grain and legumes
We are looking for projects that produce new knowledge that can support the development of good, healthy and innovative food based on grain or legumes. The market for different protein rich vegetarian foods is growing. Here, we see a need for research that focuses on both positive and negative health effects. For example, not only the consumption of grain products as part of a healthy diet, but also the connection between individual factors such as wholegrain, different grain fractions and the bioavailability of proteins from vegetable sources and the effects on metabolic syndrome, blood sugar and insulin regulation, bowl health and cognition. We expect that applications, where this is relevant, to take into consideration how such knowledge can be used to support future health claims.*
Sustainable nutrition is a new research area where we see an opportunity to differentiate and promote the nutritional content of vegetable/grain products as part of a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet. How can the research area deliver increased value to consumers of wholegrain and/or increased fibre intake? Which environment aspects are important? How sustainable nutrition can contribute to positive added value for consumers in future communication is another important area for us.
*The Foundation does not finance studies involving children.
Improved bread quality
In order to be able to extend the shelf life of bread, we are interested in research that focuses on the crustiness of the outside and the softness of the texture in loaves. We need more knowledge about things such as the distribution and retention of water in bread making, the role of starch, the actions of endogenous enzymes and other ingredients, and how these integrate with each other during the various process stages, from dough formation, rising and baking until the bread is eaten (fresh and/or after freezing).
We are also interested in developing bread with a high fibre content and with the minimal use of additives (improvers). We would welcome applications where the bread is based on wheat or oats. This calls for knowledge about both the flour and the properties of other ingredients, plus the actual baking process. Other areas of interest are clean label bread, with improved storage quality and how different types of yeast affect the taste profile of bread.
Sourdough and yeast are other important research areas. Here, we see a need to gain a deeper understanding of how different sourdough and yeast cultures affect the baking process, the properties of the bread and taste profile, along with health aspects, such as the breaking down of FODMAPS.
Reducing salt, sugar or fats while retaining taste is another area of interest. If you have any ideas about this, we would welcome a discussion before you submit your application.
The fractioning of grain and legumes for new ingredients
There is a big demand for different plant-based ingredients for innovative new products. To meet this need, current technology for fractioning and further processing of grain and legumes needs to be further developed and improved. We are interested in projects than can generate knowledge that can optimise the substitution and concentration of specific fractions and to assess production costs.
Knowledge about raw materials and the structure and chemical composition of the fractions produced and the connection to functional properties and how these are affected by different processing methods is also needed. This entails gaining a deeper understanding of starch, protein and fibre, for example. We have previously pursued projects within the area of the fractioning and extraction of wheat bran and oats. The methods used in these projects need to be scaled up, industrialised and made more efficient. Another area of interest is the refining of wheat germ.
If you have a project idea, we would be happy to discuss choice of materials and processes before you submit your application.
We are also interested in research that can increase knowledge (in the entire packaging chain), to be able to make optimal choices of sustainable and/or bio-based packaging solutions, for grain-based food in the first instance.
- Optimisation of packaging solutions to reduce food waste across the entire food chain.
- Packaging that can be recycled and is environmentally sustainable
- Packaging solution that retains taste, texture and crispiness.
- Packaging solutions for future food retailing.
- Factors such as functionality, origin of raw materials, mono or laminated materials, biodegradable or compostable, recyclable materials and the formation of micro plastics should be taken into consideration.
If you have a project idea, we would be happy to have a chat with you before you submit your application.
Texts are continuously updated until the next call round opens on September 1st, 2020.