About the "HEALTHGRAIN" EU project


HEALTHGRAIN was the acronym for Exploiting Bioactivity of European Cereal Grains for Improved Nutrition and Health Benefits, an Integrated Project of the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme's "Food Quality and Safety" activity (Priority 5).

The HEALTHGRAIN project aimed to improve the well-being and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome related diseases in Europe by increasing the intake of protective compounds in whole grains or their fractions. The aim is to produce health promoting and safe cereal foods and ingredients of high eating quality. A whole grain diet is increasingly demonstrated to be protective against development of diet related disorders such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. HEALTHGRAIN will carry out an integrated, multidisciplinary effort to establish the variation, process-induced changes and human metabolism of bioactive compounds in the major European bread grains, and to reveal the physiological mechanisms underlying their significance in prevention of metabolic syndrome and related diseases. The target bioactive compounds are vitamins (folate, tocols, choline etc.), phytochemicals (lignans, sterols, alkylresorcinols, phenolic acids) and indigestible carbohydrates. Also other product characteristics that may add to the metabolic benefits of whole grain products are promoted.

The work was carried out in 17 work packages, distributed within five modules:

  • Consumer research (Module 1)
  • Grain improvement and Biotechnology toolkit (Module 2)
  • Technology and processing (Module 3)
  • Nutrition and metabolism (Module 4)
  • Dissemination and Technology transfer (Module 5)

61 companies have been linked to HEALTHGRAIN by joining the Industrial Platform.

HEALTHGRAIN project basic data

  • Project Reference ID: FOOD-CT-2005-514008
  • Budget: € 16 Million whereof € 10.8 Million research funding is received from the European Community's Sixth Framework Programme.
  • Participants: 43 organisations from 15 European countries
  • Duration: 1 June 2005 - 31 May 2010
  • Coordinator: Prof. Kaisa Poutanen, VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) (Finland)