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Microbiota of Andean Food: tradition for healthy products (µ-Andes)
Start date: Dec 1, 2010, End date: Nov 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Synergies between European countries and Andean regions will deal for the revalorization of indigenous resources represented by Andean traditional foods. The aim of this project will be the construction of a network based on complementary competences between partners; fruitful exchange between researchers will be aimed by a common scientific project that will be the opportunity to an effective integration of involved groups. Countries from the Andean region are home to a wide range of natural resources, representing an important proportion of the Earth’s total biodiversity. Fluctuating altitude and topography produces countless micro-climatic variations these accounting for a high agricultural diversification. The achievement of multiple agronomic, ecological, economic, culinary and socio-cultural objectives constitutes a main concept in traditional Andean life. The great variety of food available in the Andes does not only provide nourishment, but also good health. In particular the project will focus on the rescue of ancestral Andean foods crops and cattle such as traditional fermented potatoes (Tocosh) and corn (Chicha de Jora) from Perú; fermented beverage Atole agrio “Xocoatolli” from Mexico; fermented milk products (suero costeño and queso Paipa) from Colombia and llama meat and quinoa-based fermented products from North-western Argentina. Scientific experience of the involved groups will be applied as a multidisciplinary approach, using advanced molecular techniques to identify the indigenous microbiota, capitalizing the technological and functional properties of the isolated strains.

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