Currently two per cent of European consumers are suffering from coeliac disease that demands a strict gluten-free diet.
Gluten is part of all common cereals and therefore contained in basic foodstuffs like bakery products and pasta. The market
for gluten-free products, which is predominately served by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), showed considerable
growth in the last years. However, the consumer acceptance of respective products is still limited by their insufficient taste, texture and mouth-feeling.
GlutenFree will enable SMEs to produce premium gluten-free bakery products and pasta well accepted by the consumer. This will allow the SMEs to participate in this profitable market sector and concurrently improve their competitiveness. The new products have the potential to generate extra annual turnover and additional employment at the SMEs involved. Society will also benefit because celiac patients as well as healthy consumers will have access to a wide pattern of tasty gluten-free foods which will make the diet and life of coeliac disease patients easier.
Multilateral cooperation between food producers, ingredient providers and research institutes will provide required research and development resources as well as scientific knowledge. Alternative ingredients, namely plant proteins and hydrocolloids, should be developed which are able to replace gluten and to form similar network structures in bakery products and pasta. The interaction of different components in the recipes during baking and pasta processing and their influence on the texture and flavour formation will be analysed in order to allow specifically improvements. Sensory improvement should be ensured by using proper raw materials, aromatic malts or sourdoughs. Evaluation of consumer preferences, acceptance and needs will be an integral part of the research and allow target-oriented food developments and promise well accepted products.