The healthy and sustainable solution for wheat

Researching wheat’s microbiome to unlock all of its potential


A whole new world to discover

The WHEATBIOME project aims at contributing to the current knowledge about the role of wheat microbiome on healthier and sustainable development. 

Advancements on the discovery and characterization of novel microorganisms are necessary to identify novel microbiome-based products and processes, and to boost sustainable food systems. However, more studies and bio- characterization of soil and plant microbiomes are needed: only 1% of the bacteria in environmental habitats are subject of cultivation at the moment.  

Our project will undertake cutting-edge research: with 2 case studies and a lab-scale demonstrator, the consortium will try to understand the effect of biotic/abiotic factors on wheat microbiomes and wheat global quality. In addition, novel foods and feeds will be developed by learning about new fermentation capacities within indigenous wheat microbiomes.

Furthermore, WHEATBIOME will study the role of microbial fermentations in the quality of foods and feeds, considering the release of Celiac Disease-related peptides and bioactive compounds and recirculating wheat by-products with the goal of upcycling food waste. The interactions between wheat and animal or human microbiota will be determined and its health-related effects will be assessed. Also, sustainable farming practices for resilient and nutritious wheat crops will be delivered and perception of food system actors and citizens about microbiomes within food systems will be analysed.


A key crop for humanity

Wheat has been a key crop for human development thanks to its low growing requirements and because it’s considered as a well-known source of protein and energy. But food and crop production are facing several challenges nowadays, due to factors like demographic growth or climate change, among many others. Also, according to the European Commission, 65% of current European Union soils are expected to be damaged, which makes soil restoration a priority aligned both to the EU’s Green Deal and the Farm2Fork Strategy.


Also, the increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is unquestionable and, moreover, the incidence of autoimmune-related disorders is also alarming. Among them, celiac disease in Europe affects up to 3% of the overall population while many cases remain undiagnosed. Thus, there is an urgent need to struggle for healthier and tastier food solutions providing proper nutritional quality aligned with low immunogenic potential and high organoleptic perception.


The Objectives

Process Objectives For The Development And Implementation Of Wheat biome

Unravel the biotic and abiotic factors in the plant development: Understand the role of soil and plant microbiota in the wheat protein and metabolites synthesis for crop resilience

Validate the best agricultural practices and microbial communities for enhancement of wheat crops

Exploit the use of whole wheat parts for the production of new sustainable and healthy plant-based food products due to novel microbial procedures
Encourage circular economy and generate new sustainable and healthy plant-based feed products by reusing wheat discards and by-products
Determine the environmental impact (LCA) and economic feasibility (LCC) of original and alternative soil treatments’ combinations, as well as the sustainability of the food and feed fermentation products.
Maximise the impact of the project through dissemination and communication of the project results to different audiences and through exploitation activities
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