WP4: Quality of materials and products

The work package shall identify both beneficial and anti-nutritional components of raw materials and processed food  products, and provide in-depth knowledge on health and safety aspects of plant-based products . This also includes optimalisations to preserve high sensory quality and satisfactory functional quality for processing. 


To identify both beneficial and anti-nutritional components of selected raw and processed plant and legume materials and food products. To investigate and optimize processes that preserve and improve taste and functional properties, providing healthy food products for the consumers and a novel product line of commercial interest for the food industry.

Key research tasks:

T4.1 Nutrient quality:

Task leader Tove Devold, NMBU. Gross composition (protein, lipids, carbohydrates, dietary fibre), content of selected beneficial compounds (ess. amino acids and minerals) and anti-nutritional components (protease inhibitors, saponins, FODMAPS, etc) will be identified in selected raw (WP2) and processed plants and legumes for foods (WP3). A special focus will be on protein content, and essential and branched-chain amino acids. The overall positive nutritional value of raw and processed plant sources or ingredients for food products will be selected for further studies.

T4.2 Functional properties suitable for food applications:

Task leader Kurt Draget, NTNU. Extensive knowledge of processing properties of plant proteins is scarce compared to animal proteins. Such properties are crucial for innovative food products. Waterbinding and solubility, viscosity, gelation, emulsification and other essential functional properties will be analysed as a function of extraction/treatment protocol to map the applicability in novel food application.

T4.3 Sensory properties:

Task Leader Paula Tomasco, Nofima. Sensory characterization of selected raw (WP2), processed and food based plant materials (WP3), using the trained sensory panel at Nofima, will be performed through descriptive sensory analysis (ref. ISO 6564:1985 E). Approximately 20 (product specific) sensory attributes will be assessed. The information obtained will be used for detailed sensory characterization of plant and legume materials used as food and the sensory information will be related to the consumers’ acceptance or potential rejection (WP5).

T4.4 Nutrient bioavailability and health effects:

Task leader Tor Lea, NMBU. Plant and legume proteins and products (WP2, WP3) will be subjected to gastrointestinal digestion (Minecus et al, 2014) with human digestive enzymes. Interactions with other nutrients affecting their bioavailability will be studied. In vitro cell models will be used to investigate possible effects on epithelial-, immune cells and inflammation. Products from selected plants will be included in experimental diets and tested for in vivo effects of proteins from different plants and compared with diets containing animal-based proteins. Special emphasis will be on intestinal microbiota composition, intestinal barrier function, nutrient/amino acid sensing pathways and systemic inflammation, a main feature of chronic lifestyle diseases.