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Training activities

HealthFerm partners jointly organise a series of webinars, workshops, spring/autumn schools for network-level training of junior and senior researchers in each of the project areas.

Workshops and spring/summer school activities take place in conjunction with either project or Healthgrain Forum (HGF) meetings. HGF holds bi-annual networking workshops where key experts in the field meet and work to develop improved grain-based foods for better nutrition with the help of superior science. The HealthFerm partners and other HGF members have strong contacts with other relevant academics, major industries, public authorities and NGOs, allowing to draw from a large pool of experts of different disciplines. HGF supports the organisation of autumn schools and spring meetings during the project, networking of HealthFerm junior scientists with the relevant industrial/academic bodies and act as a platform to continue the training after the project ends.

HGF organises relevant webinars that cover state of the art knowledge on topics related to the project objectives. The activities implement content on programmes on food-chain sustainability and major scientific disciplines in the project, developing understanding across disciplines and creating training in the form of lectures from partners and leading visiting scientists.

Training and capacity building activities in 2023 consist of three webinars and two workshops. The dates, times and full programmes will follow once available.

Schedule 2024

24th-26th of June 2024 - HealthFerm Summerschool

Location: Lyon, FR

From June 24-26, 2024, a HealthFerm Summer School will be hosted by HealthFerm partner and world´s best chefs at Institut Lyfe Research (former Institut Paul Bocuse – IPBR) in Lyon, France.

This Summer School is part of the Training & Capacity building activities and is intended for PhD-students in the HealthFerm project only.

Stay tuned for further updates and news on our website.

22th-25th of April 2024 - HealthFerm session during the International Cereal and Bread Congress

Location: Nantes, France

From April 22-25, 2024, the 17th International Cereal and Bread Congress (ICBC) will take place in Nantes,France. During this exciting event, there will be a special HealthFerm session.

Found out more about ICBC here, and stay tuned for upcoming details on the program!

21st February 2024 - Webinar on Health aspects of plant-based fermented foods: A Point of View from the HealthFerm Project

Another HealthFerm webinar happened on February 21, 2024! The webinar focused on the insights from the HealthFerm project related to health aspects of plant-based fermented foods.


  • Prof. Christophe Courtin (KU Leuven, Belgium)
    Presentation title: "Plant-based food fermentations: why do we ferment, how does it change the food and what should future research focus on"
  • Prof. Kristin Verbeke (KU Leuven, Belgium)
    Presentation title: "Expectation on the effects of plant-based fermented foods: potential mechanisms"
  • Prof. Marjukka Kolehmainen (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
    Presentation title: "Evidence of the health effects of plant based fermented foods"

Moderator: Jan de Vries** (HealthGrain forum), in cooperation with ICC.

==> Recording of the webinar, please click here

Schedule 2023

14th-17th of November 2023 - Symposium at the FENS conference - Programme on the nutritional benefits of fermented plant-based foods

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Technology and health of plant based fermented foods, a point of view from the HealthFerm project

Chair: Jan de Vries (Nutrition Solutions, NL) and Kristin Verbeke (KU Leuven, BE)

Short introduction on the EU HealthFerm project
Christophe Courtin, KU Leuven, BE

Fermentation technology, consequences on food composition and acceptability of foods
Christophe Courtin, KU Leuven, BE

Expectation on the effects of plant based fermented foods: potential mechanisms
Kristin Verbeke, KU Leuven, BE

Evidence of the health effects of plant based fermented foods
Marjukka Kolehmainen, University of Eastern Finland, FIN

Discover the full FENS program here!

6th-8th of November 2023 - Symposium at the EFFoST conference 2023 - Process technology based on fermentation principles: the dos and don’ts

Location: Valencia, Spain, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology

Microbes4SustainableFoods: Designing future fermented foods

Foods, made through desired microbial growth and enzymatic conversions of food components have been part of the human diet for millennia. Globally a very broad range of fermented foods exist, both animal and plant based. Fermentation processes have mainly been applied to conserve perishable foods. Potential health benefits of fermented foods have only been considered rather recently. Only very recently, promotion of controled fermentation processes in foods have drawn scientific attention, not only from a nutritional perspective but also from a sustainability perspective. In the Microbes4SustainableFoods sessions, five European projects with overlapping interests in food fermentation processes, collaborated to present a varied program on the design of future fermented foods. In a general introduction presentation on food fermentations, the common state of the art of the different projects will be presented. Afterwards, the setup of HealthFerm, PIMENTO, DOMINO and WHEATBIOME will be discussed, followed by some results of the MASTER project, DOMINO and HealthFerm. Finally, a roundtable discussion with the coordinators of the different projects on a sustainable network in food fermentation technology, how to create synergy between the European projects on Microbes4Sustainable Foods and the critical steps into application of foods that are available to the consumer.

Where? EFFoST conference, Valencia, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology

When? November 7

Special session 4

10:30 - 11:10: Food fermentations - state of the art l Yamina De Bondt, KU Leuven, BE

11:10 - 11:30: HealthFerm: Innovative pulse and cereal-based diets for human health and sustainable diets l Christophe Courtin, KU Leuven, BE

11:30 - 11:50: PIMENTO project: Promoting Innovation of Fermented Foods l Christophe Chassard, INRAE, Université Clermont Auvergne, FR

11:50 - 12:10: DOMINO project: Harnessing the potential of fermented foods for healthy and sustainable food systems l Stéphane Chaillou, Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, FR

12:10 - 12:30: WHEATBIOME project: Unravelling the potential of the wheat microbiome for the development of healthier, more sustainable and resilient wheat-derived food & feed products l Rosa Perez-Gregorio, University of Vigo, ES

Special session 6

14:00 - 14:20: ´MASTER´ing Fermented Foods l Paul Cotter, Teagasc Food Research Centre, IR

14:20 - 14:40: DOMINO project: Design of microbial solutions for plant-based fermented food prototypes using synthetic ecology approaches l Abelardo Margolles, IPLA-CSIC, ES

14:40 - 15:00: HealthFerm project: Processing induced changes in starch, fibre and protein in plant-based dairy alternative “gurt” l Kati Katina, Universiry of Helsinki, FIN

15:00 - 16:00: Roundtable discussion l Jan de Vries, HealthGrain Forum, NL

Special session 9

From innovation to product development gaining consumer acceptability – building sustainability in food system

16:30 - 17:00: Cultivating sustainability: The green promise of grass proteins l Kaisu Riihinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, FIN

17:00 - 17:30: Sensory Profiling and Flavor Analysis of Faba Bean Ingredients and Extrudates l Fabio Tucillo, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FIN

17:30 - 18:00: Advantages and Challenges of Using Pulse Flours in Food Applications: A Focus on Sustainability, Protein Enrichment, and Nutritional Benefits l Kerstin Burseg, GoodMills Innovation GmbH, GE

18:00 - 18:30: Harvesting Sustainability: Exploring the Nexus of Whole Grains and Alternative Proteins for a Greener Future l Peter Shewry, Rothamsted Research, UK

Discover the full program here!

4th of September 2023 - Workshop on omics principles in fermentation technology

This workshop was held in connection to the annual HealthFerm project meeting at ETH Zürich.

12.30 - 13.30 Special IFNH Lunch Seminar

Exploring microbial diversity and health promotion with fermented food- Maria Marco (UC Davis)

14.00 - 17.00 HealthFerm Workshop (only for registered HealthFerm consortium partners)

14.00-15.00: Non-targeted metabolic profiling of sourdough and other fermented foods - Anna Kårlund (University of Turku)

15.00-16.00: High-throughput DNA sequence analysis for microbiome profiling - Nicholas Bokulich (ETH Zürich)

16.00-17.00: Fingerprinting methods for characterizing fermented foods - Laura Nyström (ETH Zürich)

17.00 - 20.00 BBQ and tasting of fermented foods (only for registered HealthFerm consortium partners)

15th of June 2023, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM CEST - Webinar on nutrition and health, with a focus on gastrointestinal physiology and colonic physiology

This webinar will introduce you to the science of digestive health and fermented cereals and pulses.

Experts: Prof. K. Verbeke (KU Leuven, Belgium), Prof. R. Landberg (Chalmers University, Sweden)

Recording of the webinar: please click here
Presentation from Prof. Verbeke: please click here
Presentation from Prof. Landberg: please click here

26th-27th of April 2023 - HealthGrain Forum workshop

Location: Leuven, Belgium

The HealthGrain Forum workshop in April 2023 promises to be an engaging and lively event!

Join us on Wednesday, the 26th of April for a visit at Puratos facilities in Groot-Bijgaarden (starting from 09:00 CEST), an afternoon workshop with presentations on the EU project InnoFoodAfrica results, the HGF General Assembly meeting, and a networking dinner in Brussels.

On Thursday, the 27th of April (9:00-13:00 CEST), a workshop at KU Leuven Arenberg Castle Auditorium will take place in collaboration with the EU research project HealthFerm focusing on the state of the art of fermentation processes in relation to sensory quality, food safety and shelf life.

==> Discover the final programme here!

Further information: please click here

You can also attend this workshop online following this link.

24th of February 2023 - Webinar on fermentation principles of grains and pulses, state of the art and scientific challenges

Learn more about the state of the art on microbial fermentation technologies that are used to produce foods. The impact of the fermentation processes on food composition and nutritional attributes will be presented in relation to the raw materials used to produce final products. The presentations will cover a selection of microbes, conditions of the fermentation processed in solid, semi solid and liquid products and potential control of the fermentation processes.

Experts: Prof. M. Gobbetti (University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy) and Dr R. Coda (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Recording of the webinar: please click here
Presentation from Dr R. Coda: please click here
Presentation from Prof. Gobetti: please click here