Sourdough Method Could Bring Hope to Coeliac Sufferers

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17 Jul 2015 --- Using sourdough fermentation to manufacture baked goods may make them safe to eat for people who are sensitive to gluten, suggested scientists at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation  in Chicago.

Carlo Giuseppe Rizzello, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Bari, Italy, presented findings that show baking bread and other products with wheat flour rendered gluten-free by sourdough fermentation can be digested by people with celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities. In addition, bread made this way tastes more like regular bread than the typical gluten-free breads, has an extended shelf life, and contains more minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fiber.

Sourdough is fermented with naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeasts. In comparison with breads made with cultivated yeast, it usually has a mildly sour taste because of the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli. It was commonly used in baking until about 50 years ago, when it was replaced by the much-quicker baker’s yeast for leavening. 

“The advantage of this bread is the taste,” Rizello said. “This bread is refined so it is more similar to conventional white flour bread, but is more nutritious.”

The process Rizzello studied uses water, wheat flour, fungal proteases and sourdough lactic acid to produce a hydrolyzed wheat flour suitable for baking that reacts like gluten flour. 

Studies show that in Europe, USA and elsewhere coeliac disease has increased as much as 4 times in the last 30 years.

In the United States Coeliac Disease affects more people than Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined.

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