Molecular raw materials quality and functionality


Start 1. January 2009
End 31. December 2012
Funded by The Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products

The aim of this programme is to contribute to competitive and sustainable production of meat and cereals through better exploitation of the raw materials - in turn increasing the value of the end product.

Strategic research programme

We need to increase our understanding of the interplay of quality and functionality in raw materials. In relation to the preceding programme period, we will go deeper into the underlying genetic reasons behind the structure of the gluten network in wheat and into understanding the qualities of meat at molecular level.

Meat industry

The report Spill om næring (NILF 2008-2) produced by the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute declares that the Norwegian meat industry is heading towards substantial cost reductions in the form of increased efficiency in processing structure, transport and ownership structure policy, as well as value creation in the raw materials. "With the increasing value of raw materials, not only will the procurement of raw materials be more central, but the consequences for raw materials applications could be even more important" (NILF 2008-2 p.39). In order to succeed, special competence will be needed in a production process in which the entire potential of every piece will be exploited to the maximum.

In meat, we will also look more closely at the differences between the various muscles and raw materials so as to better predict the quality of the end products. Results from the EU ProSafeBeef project show that there is great variation in the tenderness of different muscles from the same animal. Our own and others' research on sirloin has also shown that this varies greatly in tenderness. We will also build competence in the cultivation of muscle cells in the new facilities that have been built up for cultivating primary cells. This will give important insight into the production of protein from a food perspective. By studying the breakdown processes and factors at cell level we will increase basal knowledge.


According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the report "RegClim - Norway's climate in 100 years", we can expect an increase in temperature, more autumn and winter precipitation and drier summers. This will be significant for Norwegian cereal production. There is therefore a need to measure and understand how different climate parameters affect protein development and thereby the baking quality of wheat.

Results from the quality survey of Norwegian wheat in the project "Stable and correct Norwegian food wheat quality" have shown that there are large annual variations in baking quality. In this programme we will go more deeply into understanding the structure of the gluten network in wheat. This should give us a better understanding of what is important for achieving the optimum gluten network, of how this is affected by different climatic conditions and about any interaction between genotype and growing environment. The results of this programme might make variations in the raw material more predictable and thereby permit a more optimal utilisation of the raw material, which is in turn important for a more sustainable and eco-friendly production.

Protein - proteome

We will continue working on proteome analysis of both meat and cereal in order to use the composition of proteins to understand quality development. We will look at more protein fractions in the new programme.

The results of this programme could enable a more optimal utilisation of the raw material (meat and cereal) which in turn permits more sustainable and eco-friendly production. The raw materials to be used will mainly be collected through industry collaboration. It is also a goal that the competence generated in this programme should be used as the basis for new research projects.

Proteomics research Photo: Kjell J. Merok
Copyright: Nofima

Proteomics research

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Project manager

  • Kristin Hollung

    Research Director, Food and Health

    Phone: +47 64970142

    Cellphone: +47 959 70 682

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