Traditional nutritional!

Published Date
December 15, 2021
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team
Women using the newly-developed ingredients to make traditional dishes
Women using the new developed ingredients to make traditional meals

Chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer are the leading cause of death around the globe. In response, ICARDA in collaboration with Tuscia University in Italy launched a project called MEDWHEALTH to promote a healthy, nutrient-rich diet across Mediterranean countries. Through Medwhealth, the nutritional value of traditional foods in Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Lebanon will be raised by using fortified durum wheat, barley, and lentil. 

MEDWHEALTH will develop ingredients for much-loved traditional foods such as pasta and durum wheat bread for Italy; bulgur and flatbreads for Turkey; couscous for Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria; and freekeh for Lebanon.  

The project research will provide innovative wheat materials and processes for the new products and look at how the new products can be available in the market alongside the promotion of their improved nutritional qualities. Basic ingredients provided will be: 

  • durum wheat with high fiber content, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties;  

  • soft durum wheat to improve sustainability, nutritional and technological quality; 

  • meal flours from other cereals and legumes like lentil to enhance mineral and protein content; and, 

  • ICARDA-released high in soluble fibers (beta-glucans) barley variety that is known for improving digestion and cholesterol levels.

MEDWHEALTH combines the expertise of partners from each involved country specialized with a broad range of disciplines: crop genetics, crop breeding, food technology, food chemistry, nutrition, medicine, and economy. The combination of these disciplines and skills, along with the participation of industrial partners, has put in place a unique approach required for more food- and nutrition-secure future and affordable healthy diets for all. 

This project is part of the PRIMA Programme supported by the European Union