ReTRA - Revitalization of traditional bread production procedures through innovative approaches

Program for excellent projects of young researchers (PROMIS), Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, 6062634, 2020-2022
Principal Investigator: Dr Miroslav Hadnadjev, Associate Research Professor, Institute of Food Technology in Novi Sad, University of Novi Sad
Participant from IMGGE: Dr Nikola Popovic

Cereals production constitutes a very important component of the agricultural economy of Serbia and it is linked to the social and cultural lives of local farmers, industries and consumers. Although cereals have always constituted the base of the food pyramid and their intake is recommended in all dietary guidelines, the share of calories from the apparent daily per capita consumption of cereals has dropped in the recent decade. Namely, the nutritional quality of cereal-based food is often considered poor since it is produced from refined grain products with the aid of different additives. In order to improve bakery products quality and increase of their consumption, the innovation in cereal and breadmaking technology is needed. The abovementioned challenges can be addressed by the reintroduction of underutilised local varieties of ancient/alternative cereals which have better nutritional composition than their modern counterparts, as well as their processing by-products as a source of valuable nutrients together with traditional sourdough breadmaking technology to add value to bakery products. Although spontaneous sourdough fermentation is one of the oldest cereal fermentation technologies, it is paradoxically an important modern biotechnological process. Sourdough breadmaking technology is currently undergoing an increasing interest within the research community, owning to its numerous functionalities and advantages as the metabolic activity of lactic acid bacteria during sourdough fermentation improves bread quality and allows the design of a "clean label" product. Therefore, the two main targets outcomes of the ReTRA project are 1) to combine traditional sourdough technology with underutilized ingredients (alternative grains, cereal processing waste) to create innovative smart bakery products to meet the consumers’ demands for healthy, safety and tasty food and enhance the "feel-good factor", while preserving local food heritage (ancient cereals, sourdough microbiota) as well as to 2) establish the interdisciplinary network of young Serbian researchers with complementary expertise devoted to investigation in the field of innovative sustainable cereal-based food systems.


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