|Scientific understanding of the role and mechanisms of bioactives is fragmented. Research often addresses the theoretical possibility of health improvement effects rather than their real, practical use for everyday diets. Bioactives cannot be considered as discrete chemical compounds and research must focus on bioactive-enriched foods (BEF), if consumer demands for foods delivering appropriate health and wellbeing benefits are to be fulfilled.PATHWAY, a pan-European interdisciplinary team of 16 life/social scientists and 10 high tech/ food processing SMEs, uniquely addresses the role and mechanisms of action of 3 bioactives (docosahexaenoic acid, β-glucan, anthocyanins, chosen for known/claimed effectiveness in reducing some risk factors of Metabolic Syndrome (MS), enriching 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.PATHWAY will determine the impact of BEF on physiologically-relevant MS (a risk factor for many diseases) endpoints and deliver a better understanding of the role and mechanisms of action of the 3 bioactives and BEF. Parallel in vitro/in vivo studies will enable selection of robust biomarkers by advanced omics techniques.Deliverables will include BEF and 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; the latter will be greatly facilitated by one SME partner who has submitted 3 successful dossiers. PATHWAY guidelines will be generic and will apply to a wide range of bioactives and BEF.Impact will be optimised across Europe by targeted dissemination to industry (especially SME), consumer and S&T stakeholders. Young people will be trained in a stimulating interdisciplinary, trans-sectoral environment.