Mediterranean Diet with Improved Nutritional and Health Value
One of the biggest challenges currently facing humanity is noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are spread on the entire globe, with an increasing trend in low- and middle-income countries. Of the 57.7 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2017, about 41 million (71%) were due to noncommunicable diseases, principally cardiovascular diseases (43.5%), cancer (22%), chronic respiratory diseases (9.5%) and diabetes (4%). The list of key “behavioral risk factors” in NCDs incidence, reported from WHO, includes, together with harmful use of alcohol, tobacco use and physical inactivity, the dietary behavior. In the last few decades dietary habits of the population have been strongly influenced by an increasing consumption of ready meals (fast food; junk food) rich in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients, thus contributing to overweight and obesity. In this scenario, it is highly desirable to boost correct diet habits such as the “Mediterranean Diet”, a diet-based lifestyle spread in Mediterranean areas, defined as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO, recognized as useful in the health maintenance and diseases prevention. In this context, MEDWHEALTH proposes to develop durum wheat-derived products typical of Mediterranean Diet with improved nutritional value and new technological properties. Further, the use of durum wheat in the Mediterranean tradition is often done in mixture with different crops. At this regard, MEDWHEALTH will develop new products (pasta, couscous, home-made bread) with barley and lentil mixtures, as such or malted to reduce the main anti-nutritional compounds.
Algeria, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Türkiye