ID-Wheat: Improving the digestibility of wheat products.


Due to the increasing incidence of wheat intolerances, it is necessary to evaluate alternative ways of producing wheat products. As part of the ID-Wheat project, ingredients relevant to intolerances were first characterized and then technological measures (e.g. sourdough management) were researched that could reduce undesirable ingredients and thus improve the digestibility of wheat products.

Project description

Wheat has fallen into disrepute for consumers. Many consumers complain that they cannot tolerate wheat. Millers and bakeries are now challenged to use alternatives to wheat or to improve the tolerance of wheat products through technological measures. Besides celiac disease, which requires a strict gluten-free diet, other health complaints are also associated with the consumption of wheat products. So-called gluten or wheat sensitivity is associated with immunogenic proteins called amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs). Also certain carbohydrates, the so-called FODMAPs, fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides and polyols can increase the symptoms of wheat sensitivity, such as flatulence. In total, wheat thus contains three groups of ingredients that can trigger digestive symptoms. In this project, the aim was to reduce these antinutritional substances in baked goods through breeding and technological measures and to improve digestibility and increase digestibility.


In the course of the project it could be proven that breeding did not increase the amount of ATIs in modern varieties. The quality-determining proteins, on the other hand, were increased. Furthermore, experiments on sourdough management showed that both the amount of ATIs and fructans could be significantly reduced by optimizing sourdough management. FODMAPs could even be reduced to an amount below suggested guideline values. However, since there are still no limit values for the above-mentioned ingredients and clear medical studies on their effects in humans are still lacking, marketing with health claims or special declarations is not possible at present.


The project has identified possible future measures to improve the digestibility of wheat products. It was shown that the amount of substances triggering wheat sensitivity could be significantly reduced in the course of the experiments carried out. Due to the lack of limit values and medical studies to date, it is not yet possible to make a health-related claim for the processes researched.

Benefit of the project

Since many people are unable to consume conventional wheat products due to wheat sensitivity, the aim of this project was to develop and investigate methods by which wheat products can also be made digestible for people with wheat sensitivity.

Project details

Project acronym: ID-Wheat

Project Management: University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Dept. of Food Science and Technology (DLWT) Partners: Pfahnl Backmittel GmbH, Haubis GmbH, HTL LMT Wels, Saatzucht Donau GmbH & Co KG, Ströck-Brot GmbH Project Management AGES: Dr. Elisabeth Reiter

Funding: ID-WHEAT FFG Project No.: 858540

Project duration: 06/2017 to 10/2020


Call, L., Kapeller, M., Grausgruber, H., Reiter, E.V., Schoenlechner, R., D’Amico, S. 2020. Effects of species and breeding on wheat protein composition. Journal of Cereal Science, 93, 102974,

Call, L., Reiter, E.V., Wenger-Oehn, G., Strnad, I., Grausgruber, H., Schoenlechner, R., D’Amico, S., 2019. Development of an enzymatic assay for the quantitative determination of trypsin inhibitory activity in wheat. Food Chemistry, 299, 125038,

Fraberger, V., Call, L., Domig, K.J., D’Amico, S., 2018. Applicability of yeast fermentation to reduce fructans and other FODMAPs. Nutrients, 10, 1247,

Fraberger V, Ladurner M, Nemec A, Grunwald-Gruber C, Call LM, Hochegger R, Domig KJ, D’Amico S. 2020. Insights into the Potential of Sourdough-Related Lactic Acid Bacteria to Degrade Proteins in Wheat. Microorganisms, 8, 11,1689,

Fruewirth, S., Call, L., Maier, F.A., Hebenstreit, V., D’Amico, S., Pignitter, M., 2020. LCMS/MS method validation for the quantitation of 1-kestose in wheat flour. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 100, 4, 103930.

Grausgruber H., Lovegrove A., Shewry P., Békés F., 2020. FODMAPs in Wheat. In: Igrejas G., Ikeda T., Guzmán C. (eds) Wheat Quality For Improving Processing And Human Health. Springer, Cham,

Call, L., Reiter, E.V., Grausgruber, H., Schoenlechner, R., D’Amico, S., 2018. Fruktane in alten und neuen österreichischen Weizensorten. Getreide, Mehl und Brot, 1, 2-6.

D’Amico, S., Call, L., Edlmayr, M., Marzak, S., Jaeger, H., Domig, K.J., Reiter, E.V., Grausgruber, H., 2018. Characterization of non-gluten proteins in Austrian wheat varieties from 19th century until today. Cereal Technology,1, 4-12.

Last updated: 31.08.2023

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