Flat bread which is a staple traditional product from the Mediterranean area (MA) with products from several countries (Italy, France, Greece, Malta, Croatia, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon) has great attention from both consumers and industries in the MA. The concept of the project FLAT BREAD MINE (FBM) is based on exploring new technologies, processing innovation and new reformulations to develop healthy flat bread for the consumers of the MA. FBM has two meanings, which can be understood as two ambitions: 1) establishing a MINE (source) of information to develop a healthier and safer Flat Bread & 2) customizing the formulation to adapt "FB MINE" to each consumer in order to obtain nutritionally enriched, gluten-free, sustainable, or practical foods.

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Period of Implementation

Jul 1, 2021 - Feb 28, 2025
Total Budget

EUR 2,072,041.75



G1: To obtain an overview of the different recipe, process & product specification of flat bread from the MA G2: To target gluten & gluten free FB with non-organic & organic formulation as well as partial baking for convenience. G3: To optimize dough rheology for lamination process & oven rise. G4: To reduce the energy used for flat bread production & mitigate acrylamide risk. G5: To improve the nutrition characteristics of flat bread including: salt reduction, glycemic index reduction, enhancement of nutrients content (minerals, beta glucan, exopolysaccharides etc.) via revisiting sourdough process & preparation protocol with alternative crops (Oat-Barley-millet-carob-durum wheat-acorn) & legumes flours. G6: To consider safety issues by analyzing mycotoxins & other contaminants from raw ingredients, formed acrylamide during baking, and mold growth during storage (at room temperature or refrigerator). G7: To address the eco-efficiency from the perspective of both consumer & producer. G8: To make demonstration & market tests with a panel of industry partners including consumer’s acceptance evaluation.


O1: To establish a FB database O2: To develop gluten & gluten-free FB O3: To develop Innovative low-pressure mixer O4: To develop Innovative low-pressure oven technology O5: To develop new FB recipes & processes O6: To ensure FB safety O7: To develop sustainable and marketable FB solutions by the LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) and LCC (Life cycle Costing). O8: to ascertain the acceptance of the processes and new products by consumers & industry from the MA

Problems and Needs Analysis

Flat bread faces several challenges; A first issue concerns the growth of the organic FB market as organic flour tend to have a lower amount of proteins with lower quality vs. conventional flour (in particular high molecular weight glutenin that contribute to the oven rise & gas holding capacity. The second concern is linked to the low production of soft wheat in the MA & the partial replacement with other autochthonous cultivars (i.e. durum wheat), crop from dry region (millet, carob, acorn) or with crops with high nutritional value like oat & barley or pulse. From a nutrition point of view, FB are often complemented with ingredients like honey, dates, various lipids, which may have a negative impact on the nutrition profile. Instead, the precise impact of the leavening (yeast vs sourdough) & the baking process on the glycemic index has been minimally investigated so far. There is also a burden of celiac disease in the MA. In addition, conventional baking methods of FB are energy intensive due to high baking temperature. This addresses an environmental impact but also possible safety issues regarding acrylamide. Mycotoxins is another risk that is often higher in whole meal flour & organic products. FBM aims at setting up the scientific evidence of the issues raised above & at developing technology, processes & recipes to obtain convenient organic & non-organic part baked FB (to provide convenience) with enhanced nutrition profile & optimized environmental footprint.

Intervention Strategy(ies)

FBM strategy is based on national/regional strategies & policies to ensure the provision of healthy, safe & sustainable food products along the whole Agri-food value chain considering a multi-actor approach from process to end-user. FBM brings together 18 experts from 10 different Mediterranean countries to share their knowledge in research and innovation. Moreover, a strategy based on choosing different “couples” of educational and industrial partners able to work together at local scale is tackled in this project. The problems identified by the project will be faced by progressively implementing different crops, raw ingredients and salt substitute (choline chloride) in flat bread reformulation (reformulation strategy). In addition to the implementation and development of innovative processing equipment (processing strategy). Finally, after the reformulation and processing strategies, the innovative FB will be obtained and transferred for industry tests (including sensory tests) and validation.

Impact Pathway

FBM project's main impacts include: 1) bringing attention to the innovation phase by detecting possible innovation that could yield know-how or patents; 2) improving the Science & Technology capabilities, the innovation potential, and the competitiveness of the industries taking part of the project; 3) stimulation of the leverage effect on private investment as the added-value to develop new equipment and markets; 4) stimulation of the cooperation of the companies of academic partners & technical canters at national and Mediterranean area levels; 5) reduction of the commercial risk by making existing research results applicable across the MA and beyond.