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Impact & Innovation

HealthFerm will transform the global food system by offering solutions to increasingly replace animal- with plant-based proteins through fermentation technologies.

HealthFerm will ensure that:

  1. there is an evidence-based understanding of food fermentation microbiomes, plant-based foods and the human gut microbiome and health.
  2. broad open access is provided to microorganisms and microbial consortia, including phenotypic and genotypic data.
  3. pulse and cereal-based fermented food products and processes are developed. These will come with superior health effects, high sensory quality and excellent shelf-life.
  4. key success factors for upscaling/mainstreaming fermented food-based meals are known and changes in consumers’ perception and acceptance of plant-based fermented foods are assessed.
  5. there is a better assessment of the economic, societal and environmental importance of fermented foods.

HealthFerm’s wider impact will contribute to the scientific, societal and economic spheres by:

  • Scientific
    • furthering research through open access to all results on micro-organisms and fermented food, their production, acceptance and interaction with human microbiota.
    • positioning the EU as leader in the research of fermented foods and development and strengthen the EU’s position as leader in fermented food innovation.
  • Societal
    • establishing dietary shifts towards less animal-based food and healthy, sustainable and personalised nutrition.
    • reducing the environmental impact of food consumption through plant-based diets significantly reducing global greenhouse gas emissions
  • Economic
    • growing the fermented food industry through higher demand and optimised production process.
    • Reducing health costs through healthy nutrition.

HealthFerm and its contribution to the EU priorities

HealthFerm fully aligns with the European Green Deal priorities and its Farm to Fork Strategy for fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems. The link between healthy people, healthy societies, and a healthy planet puts sustainable food systems with a reduced environmental and climate footprint at the heart of the European Green Deal. A shift towards more sustainable food consumption both from a health and environmental point of view is one of the key challenges addressed in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. Moving to a more plant-based diet will reduce the risks of life-threatening diseases and the food system’s environmental impact.

The EU Farm to Fork Strategy emphasises the need for increased research efforts on the role of microbiomes in such transition and higher availability of alternatives to animal-based proteins. Both are at the core of HealthFerm.

The EU Food 2030 Research and Innovation policy targets 10 pathways for action providing a structured basis to build up Research & Innovation programmes in Europe (incl. Horizon Europe) and beyond. The HealthFerm outcomes strongly align with the pathways related to “Alternative proteins and dietary shift”, “The microbiome world”, and “Healthy, sustainable and personalized nutrition” and foster interdisciplinary research at their crossroads, which will lead to sensory, nutrition, health and sustainability co-benefits for fermented foods.