In GutFeedingNow we study the health implications of new plant-based ingredients and products based on Norwegian raw materials, with focus on protein digestibility and effects on the gut microbiota and gut health.
01. Dec 2021
30. Nov 2025
Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri (FFL/JA)
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Bakehuset, Norgesgruppen, Norgesmøllene
A transition of Norwegian agriculture and food production requires increased production of Norwegian protein-rich plants and new plant-based products.
An overall plant-based diet is accepted as healthier than an animal-based, however, it is limited to knowledge of the health effects of new protein-rich plant-based products that nutritionally can be an alternative to animal protein. T
he protein quality in such products can be lower than in animal products due to
- less content of the essential amino acids, or
- the proteins are less bioavailable due to lower protein digestibility.
Little knowledge exists on the fate and effect of undigested plant proteins in the large intestine.
One question is whether the proteins will be fermented by the gut microbiota and promote an unhealthy environment? Or might the plant-derived dietary fibers have the potential to modulate any negative effects of undigested plant proteins in the gut?
The aim of GutFeedingNow is to evaluate and optimise new plant-based protein rich model products by generating knowledge on how plant proteins are digested and the impact of plant proteins and dietary fiber on the gut microbiota and gut health.
What we do
This is a collaborative project where researchers and industrial partners are involved throughout the project period.
Ingredients and products
Ingredients from Norwegian cereal and pulses will be in focus. Nofima will collaborate with industry to identify relevant ingredients and make different plant-based protein-rich model foods using different processes (e.g., extrusion, baking).
Evaluation of protein digestibility, fermentability of proteins and dietary fiber, effects on the gut microbiota and metabolites will be done using in vitro systems. These results will be used for optimisation of the model foods, new evaluations and in vivo verification using experimental mice at NMBU.
Industrial partners will collaborate on knowledge transfer from the project and how to implement the knowledge for product development and communication to consumers etc.