Novel technological approaches for the development of low FODMAP food products (TALENTFOOD)

Funded by The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) - Project reference number:15/F/602



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder and has an estimated global prevalence of 10-20% of the general population and constitutes the most common cause of gastroenterology referral. IBS symptoms are triggered by the consumption of the poorly absorbed fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) and insoluble fibre. On reaching the distal small intestine and colon, FODMAPS and insoluble fibre increase the osmotic pressure in the large-intestinal lumen and provide substrates for bacterial fermentation, with consequent gas production, abdominal distension and abdominal pain or discomfort. This condition reduces considerably the patients’ quality of life. Sixty-two percent of IBS patients either limited or excluded certain food items from their daily diet and of these 12% were at risk of long-term nutritional deficiencies. In patients with IBS, a diet low in-FODMAPs effectively reduced functional gastrointestinal symptoms. This high-quality evidence supports its use as a first-line therapy. FODMAPs occur in a wide range of foods, including wheat/rye, and people in numerous countries (including Ireland) rely on bread and wheat products (e.g. bread and pasta), for a substantial part of their diet. Nowadays, in Ireland, there are no low-FODMAP food products available on the market and IBS sufferers are forced to follow FODMAP elimination diet by excluding a wide range of foods form their diet. Low-FODMAP diet should not limit IBS suffers’ life, it should limit their pain and discomfort, such that they can lead a normal (pain-free) life. TALENT project will develop cereal-based low-FODMAP food products by providing effective technological solutions using enzymatic/malting and fermentation processes with remarkable reductions on FODMAPs and with a concomitant improvement of their nutritional qualities. A strong participation of food industry partners and support associations in this project will help contribute to the social feasibility and economic viability of the strategies developed.

Cereal and Beverage Science Research Group

School of Food & Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, College Road, Cork Ireland