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Last update: May 2021

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"Exploring Fermentation as a tool to reduce the allergenicity of plant protein based food"

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The FerAll project aims to reduce the allergenicity of wheat and soybean proteins during fermentation by lactic acid bacteria isolated from fermented food products. It is funded under the RFI Food for Tomorrow/Cap Aliment programme.

The increase in the share of vegetable proteins in human food and the development of sustainable food are one of the responses to the economic, nutritional and ecological challenges of the coming decades in order to be able to feed more than 9 billion people.

Some cereals (wheat) and legumes (soybeans) are excellent sources of protein with high nutritional value. However, these proteins have low digestibility compared to animal proteins and can also cause allergies or autoimmune diseases in some susceptible individuals.

The FerAll project aims to evaluate the ability of lactic acid bacteria isolated from sourdough (collection of French strains) and natural ferments (Brazilian fermented products) to hydrolyze gluten and soy proteins, in order to reduce their allergenicity through the fermentation process. During the project, the epithelial transport of fermented products will be studied after in vitro digestion. The residual capacity of fermented products to cause an allergic reaction will be tested with sera from allergic patients, which will allow the identification of the least allergenic proteins.


Electrophoresis gel obtained by SDS PAGE:
Native gluten (G) and fermented gluten in the presence of strains of lactic acid bacteria (BL1, BL2).

These pre-hydrolyzed proteins will allow the preparation of hypoallergenic foods or new foods that are better tolerated by the elderly or consumers with certain digestive problems.

This project is led by the Allergy team of the BIA Unit in collaboration with the Institute of the Food Research Center of the University of Sao Paulo and the ONIRIS GEPEA Unit. It is funded under the RFI Food for Tomorrow / Cap Aliment program.

  • Duration of the project: 18 months (Apr. 2018-Sept. 2019)
  • Coordination : INRA BIA (project owner: Colette Larré)
  • Academic partners:
    • INRA BIA
    • Food Research Center, Université Sao Paulo, Brésil
  • Budget: 91 000 € incl. 85 000 € from RFI