Traditional food products and the human microbiome

Microbiome in food systems, from soil, plants and animals, up to the final product, has direct and indirect effects on the human microbiome, affecting health, while playing a key role in food quality and safety. The goal of FOODBIOMES is the development of an integrated technological platform, focusing on the innovative applications of the microbiome, which will utilize the research results, both for the promotion of research and for the development of high added value products and services in the Greek Agri-food complex, in order to push sustainable economic development.

Promoting the principles of bioeconomy through the exploitation of traditional foods of high nutritional value from the Aegean region and their by-products, may constitute an important pillar of the sustainable development strategy in the Greek region. In the Aegean islands, the need to highlight the nutritional value and potential beneficial health properties of specific foods of the Mediterranean Diet and their by-products, such as olive oil from Lesvos, honey and cheese from Lemnos and citrus fruits and mastic from Chios, is particularly important.

At FOODBIOMES, research groups from the Aegean University are working to bring to the spotlight the local traditional products, which are included in the priority axes of the North Aegean region (“Regional Basket”), adopting the from-field-to-shelf strategy and focusing on quality and safety assurance, on the improvement of their nutritional value and on the study of their bioactivity with emphasis on the human intestinal microbiome. At the same time, by integrating in a cooperative and assisting manner to the entire research infrastructure, the teams from the Aegean University aim to build up the role of traditional and innovative foods from all over Greece in the diet and health of citizens and to contribute to the economy and public health, with emphasis on the effect of foods on disease biomarkers and the human microbiome.

The Aegean University Team