The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Highly Efficient Gluten Degradation by Lactobacilli and Fungal Proteases during Food Processing: New Perspectives for Celiac Dis

Wyatt's picture

Highly Efficient Gluten Degradation by Lactobacilli and Fungal Proteases during Food Processing: New Perspectives for Celiac Dis

Have you seen some of the cool research showing that gluten sensitivity is lower in naturally fermented baked goods? Here's a link to a cool article from Italy showing original gluten at almost 75000 ppm, reduced to 12 ppm after sourdough fermentation.

mwilson's picture

Thanks. That's the kinda thing that I'm interested in. It will take many reads to absorb though! Luckily I'm not a coeliac but I believe that the Chorleywood_bread_process is indirectly responsible for the growing number of people who are and we need this kind of research to turn things around and go back to eating more fermented foods!

pmccool's picture

Actually, I'm not sure that any of us could.  My kitchen isn't equipped with spray-drying equipment, anyway.

Long story short: the researchers used several different combinations of sourdough cultures and amylase enzymes to bring the gluten content of flour/water mixtures to very low levels.  Then they dried the mixtures back to a powder, which they then used in bread doughs.  Since the resulting flour was very nearly gluten-free, the bread had to be made using various gums, starches, and other "structuring agents"; just like breads made with other gluten-free flours and starches.

If someone is able to make this a cost-effective commercial operation, then people on GF diets would have another food source that would offer some nutritional benefits that are not presently available in GF foods.  However, their frustrations with making GF bread would still exist since this flour would also be "gluten free".


Wyatt's picture

I probably should have put some sort of disclaimer at the end of my post as I wouldn't want anyone to assume they can safely start eating sourdough bread when they are Gluten intollerant. I didn't think the post would even imply that but I guess you never know. I've had people come up to me and ask me to make gluten free products (I sell bread as a cottage inductry in conjunction with organic produce) and have told them that, while I could make products that are largely gluten free, I would advise them not to buy it from sources, including me, that produce products with gluten as there are bound to be trace amounts of it that make it into the supposedly gluten free ones. If one had separate facilities that could be prevented but I do not and really don't want the liability, don't want anyone to get sick, and so won't make "Gluten free" products. That being said I do make reduced gluten products from spelt, kamut, 100% rye and emmer which don't have the more modern gluten and, though I don't do it for gluten reduction, I use only natural ferments. I've found you don't need a lot of gluten to make fairly light bread if you develop it well.

What I found interesting is how much gluten is reduced by lactic fermentations. I've been becoming more aware of the increase in gluten sensitivity in human populations since selling bread in Yellow springs Ohio. Seems half of the people there have some sort of gluten issues although I'm not sure that most of them are not really that sensistive but simply rather concerned. Still, the high gluten breads of modern times seem to have some influence in the increasing sensitivity to it and it seems to me that sourdough fermentations might play a role in at least curbing the development of new sensitivities in people that do not already have it, especially when used in conjunction with grains with less modern forms of gluten.

I don't have issues with gluten myself but I know enough people, with different kinds of gluten sensitivity, that do that it is something that is of some concern and interest to me.

I know this is impractical but I think it would be interesting to see some data on the Gluten sensitivity of groups of people that use sourdough fermentations exclusively.