PATHWAY-27 project sets out to tackle the diverse scientific understanding of the role and mechanisms of bioactive compounds in influencing human health. The project addresses their real and practical use in everyday diets, moving beyond the theoretical status typically derived from research.

Bioactives cannot be considered as discrete chemical compounds. As ingredients of bioactive-enriched foods (BEF), the project research activities will focus on how specific bioactives can potentially meet consumer interest in foods delivering appropriate health and wellbeing benefits.

PATHWAY-27, a pan-European interdisciplinary team of life/social scientists and high tech/ food processing SMEs, uniquely addresses the role and mechanisms of action of 3 bioactives, namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), β-glucan (BG),and anthocyanins (AC), fortifying 3 different widely-consumed food matrices (dairy-, bakery-, egg products).
Critical evaluation of bioactive-food matrix interactions and determining the extent of synergies between the 3 bioactives are key elements of PATHWAY-27. The project will also consider the technological modifications occurring during food processing and production, as well as the frequency of consumption and the consumers' acceptance of the BEF.

PATHWAY-27 will determine the impact of BEF on physiologically-relevant endpoints of the Metabolic Syndrome (MS), a risk factor for many diseases, performing three pilot studies and one larger intervention trial.
Parallel in vitro/in vivo studies will enable selection of robust biomarkers by advanced omics techniques, and will deliver a better understanding of the role and mechanisms of action of the 3 bioactives and BEF.

PATHWAY-27 deliverables will also include generic protocols, best practices and guidelines for planning dietary interventions, and guidance to SMEs for producing health-promoting BEF and for submitting convincing health claim dossiers to EFSA. PATHWAY guidelines will be generic and will apply to a wide range of bioactives and BEF. The project impact will be optimised across Europe by targeted dissemination to industry (especially SME), consumer and Science & Technology stakeholders. Young people will be trained in a stimulating interdisciplinary, trans-sectoral environment.