OPTIKORN: Optimized sourdough management for the industrial production of einkorn pastries


Einkorn, the oldest type of wheat, is an alternative for people with wheat intolerances due to its special properties. However, there are also disadvantages: einkorn doughs are particularly difficult to process due to their weak gluten network and stickiness. In the OPTIKORN project, special sourdoughs and optimized processes are being developed in order to be able to produce einkorn pastries with high quality and digestibility under industrial conditions.

Project description

Ancestral grains, especially einkorn(Triticum monococcum), have gained enormous importance in recent years due to their positive nutritional properties and improved tolerability for people with wheat hypersensitivities such as non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NZWS). Furthermore, the use of einkorn also has environmental benefits. Although yields are lower compared to those of wheat, the cultivation of einkorn requires the use of fewer pesticides and fertilizers.

In addition to the low yield of einkorn, the einkorn dough also poses a challenge for industrial production, as the sticky doughs are difficult to machine. Furthermore, there are few data on the digestibility of einkorn baked goods. Based on these findings, an optimization of the production of baked goods made from einkorn will be carried out.

Bread and pastries produced with sourdough are more digestible for probably wheat-sensitive individuals. Fermentation results in the reduction of ingredients (proteins such as ATIs, gluten, carbohydrates such as FODMAPs) which are suspected to be main triggers of NZWS. The optimization of einkorn sourdough management with regard to the metabolic activity of microorganisms is therefore of great interest.

Benefit of the project

The project develops special bakery products with sourdough for people with wheat intolerance. Through the cooperation with bakeries and sourdough specialists as well as the research partners BOKU and AGES, a very fast knowledge transfer takes place, whereby products made from einkorn with very high quality and digestibility can be developed for consumers. In addition, alternative wheat varieties for organic farming are promoted and biodiversity is increased.

Project details

Project acronym: OPTIKORN

Project Management AGES: Stefano D'Amico, Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feedingstuffs

Project partners: University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Department of Food Science and Technology (DLWT); HAUBIS GmbH and Ernst BÖCKER GmbH & Co. KG

Funding: FFoQSI - Austrian Competence Centre for. Feed and Food Quality, COMET Program of the FFG

Project duration: 01.2021 to 12.2024

Last updated: 15.11.2023

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