Nowadays, there is a growing interest in developing novel foods containing probiotic microorganisms. Probiotics are commonly defined as viable microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Most probiotic microorganisms belong to the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and are used for the production of fermented milk products.

Probiotics should be able to survive the acidic conditions of the upper gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, be resistant to bile salts and proliferate and colonize in the gut. To induce the health effects, probiotics need to contain an adequate amount of live bacteria (at least 107cfu/g), in order to assure a daily intake of 109 probiotic cells, a requirement that is not always fulfilled. However, for certain strains, a lower concentration maybe adequate. As a consequence, the daily suggested dose can be achieved by administration of 100g of a food product containing 107 cfu/g probiotic cells.

A properly designed strategy for incorporation of probiotics into foods is a key factor for maintaining such high concentration, especially at the moment of consumption. Even if a high content of probiotic cells is technological feasible, the cells should remain viable during the product’s shelf-life. This requirement constitutes the main reason that the commercially available probiotic foods are restricted to refrigerated products.

It has been established that cell immobilization enhances the viability of cultures. Cell immobilization on prebiotic supports and the use of the immobilized cells constitutes a challenge for food industry today.

In this context, iFUNFoods project aims at the production of innovative foods with immobilized lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on natural prebiotic supports (dried nuts, cereals, fruits, etc) and study of their potential health effects on humans. It is therefore an ambitious 3-year research project focusing on scaling up innovative technological processes for the production of probiotic ingredients, evaluating their efficacy using animal models and confirming their beneficial properties by clinical trials. It is an integrated approach, aiming at isolating 'wild' type lactic acid bacteria from biological samples, such as traditionally fermented foods, evaluating and characterizing their potential health effects and then developing, evaluating and producing viable symbiotic food ingredients that will be able to enhance the viability of the probiotic strains, acting, thus, beneficially to the human health.

 

Expected results
Τhe project is expected to contribute to the isolation of new 'wild' health-promoting lactic acid bacteria strains, the development of novel functional symbiotic ingredients suitable for use by the food industry, the validation of a biotechnological process for the industrial production of symbiotic ingredients, the enhancement of knowledge of the properties, benefits and production processes of probiotic micro-organisms, as well as enhancing the research, innovation and cooperation viewpoint between research organizations and the industry.

 

The Research Group

DEMOCRITUS UNIVERSITY OF THRACE, DEPARTMENT OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY & GENETICS, LABORATORY OF APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY

 ικ        

Kourkoutas Yiannis


Project Coordinator & Scientific Supervisor, Associate Professor of Applied Biotechnology, Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace
https://www.mbg.duth.gr/images/DEP/Kourkoutas/CV-Kourkoutas_2018.pdf
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +30 25510 30633, +306947024571

   

 

 

 

 

       

Dimitrellou Dimitra


Chemist- Post-Doc Researcher,  Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +30 25510 30703

   
 δδ        

Santarmaki Valentini


Molecular Biologist-Post-Doc Researcher,  Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: + 30 25510 3070

   
               
               
 ps        

Somalou Paraskevi


Biologist-Researcher-PhD candidate,Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: + 30 25510 30703

 

CENTRE FOR RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE OF APPLIED BIOSCIENCES 

 ικ        

Argiriou Anagnostis

Researcher, Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
tel:+30 2310 498475 

 ικ        

Feidaki Ria

Μolecular Biologist-Researcher, Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +30 2311 257521

 ικ          

Mouchtaropoulou Evaggelia, MSc

Medical laboratory technician, Researcher, Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +302310 498 274

  

UNIVERSITY OF CRETE, MEDICAL SCHOOL 

 ικ        

Tsatsanis Christos


Professor, Medical School, University of Crete
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +30 2810 394833

 

 Ιερονυμακη        

Ieronymaki Eleftheria


Biologist-Post-Doc Researcher, Medical School, University of Crete
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +30 2810 394548

 

KYKLOS PIOTITAS (QLC) 

 Πανάς        

Panas Panayiotis


Chemist, MSc, PhD
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
tel: +30 2610 524550

 

Budget


952.434,78€

European Fund
European Regional Development Fund 

 

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