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Institution: Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zürich
Project lead: Annina Meyer
Schmelzbergstrasse 9, 8092 Zürich
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The sourdough microbiome

Attention sourdough bakers and fermentation enthusiasts - HealthFerm is researching plant-based and fermented foods you eat and raise in your home!

Fermented foods are present both in our daily diet and in various food cultures: from sourdough bread to beer, wine, pickles, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, and much more. The art of fermentation is (again) on the rise, and many people are making their own fermented foods at home. Can fermentation help us transition to a more plant-based diet? The European research project HealthFerm aims to investigate the connections between the microorganisms involved in food fermentation, the fermented foods resulting from these processes, and their effects on human health.

Here's how you can participate:

Project participants are asked to provide information about their fermentation practices and their attitude towards fermented foods using two questionnaires. Based on this feedback, the researchers will select 1,000 participants who can submit their fermented foods for analysis, with an initial focus on sourdough. The results from the lab will then be made available. For example, you can learn how many cultures are thriving in your sourdough and how common they are!

Simply visit this website, available in 7 languages.

What happens next:

The data on microorganisms, genomes, and metabolites discovered in the fermented foods of participating citizens will be available in an openly accessible online atlas of the food microbiome. There, participants can evaluate and compare the microorganisms from their fermented foods.

The microorganisms obtained from the submitted foods will also be used to develop innovative fermentations of legumes and grain-based foods. One focus is on developing fermented foods as alternatives to dairy- and meat-based foods.

Furthermore, the health effects and consumer perception of novel fermented foods will be investigated. This is intended to promote the incorporation of these foods into commonly practiced dietary habits in Europe. Building and nurturing an ecosystem with various interest groups and researchers will help achieve a lasting impact beyond the project.

For those who want to stay updated without participating, regular reading of the HealthFerm blog is recommended.

Tagged under
  • health
  • food
Read 82 times| Last modified on Friday, 19 April 2024 11:03