Call for partners: Food processing, advanced glycemic end products (AGEs) & health

During food processing advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed. Is the consumption of food rich in AGEs harmful or beneficial for health? How can we control the formation of these AGEs during food processing and how do these dietary AGEs accumulate in the body? This project will provide valuable insights on these issues and allows industry to improve health aspects of processed foods, both for humans and pet animals.

Currently, humans as well as pet animals, are eating many processed food items such as plant based meat and dairy analogues, meat-based products and cereals. During the production process, heating steps, such as pasteurization, sterilization or frying take place and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed. AGEs are proteins or lipids that become glycated after exposure to sugars. The presence and accumulation of AGEs in cells in the body affects cell function and health. The question remains if dietary AGEs also play an important role in health and disease. Within this project, we aim at a better understanding of the effect of (pre-) processing of food ingredients on the formation of AGEs and to what extent it will affect AGE levels in human/animals, endogenous AGE formation and human and animal health.

Optimize processing conditions

We aim to develop strategies to control (induce or suppress) the formation of AGEs during food processing and to optimize towards a desired product composition with respect to AGE content. We will also study how food matrix and composition may affect bioavailability of AGEs. Can we tune towards a desired bioavailability? This proposed project will be connected to a running WUR initiative where three PhD’s study the relation between carbohydrate metabolism, formation of AGEs, inflammation and health.

Finding solutions together

The budget for this proposal is estimated to be approximately 1.4 M€. The above described project is being developed for application to the TKI subsidy, a Dutch governmental program sponsoring applied research. Aiming for 4 partners each 25k€ annually cash and 20k€ in kind contribution.

Granted projects receive 50% subsidy funding. The other 50% is contributed by industry partners, of which up to half (25% of total) may be in-kind. This consortium is open for participation of both ingredient as well as end product companies. In return for in-cash and in-kind contributions to the project, partners can specify desired topics for research, and provide direction to the research activities. Unfortunately, we are not able to reply to solicitations from research institutes or enquiries from students related to this project.