Sourdough fermentation could be key to gluten-free baking

Wednesday, 22 July, 2015

Using sourdough fermentation to manufacture baked goods may make them safe to eat for people who are sensitive to gluten, according to research presented at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual symposium.

At IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation, Carlo Giuseppe Rizzello, PhD, a researcher at the University of Bari, Italy, presented findings that show bread and other products baked with wheat flour rendered gluten-free by sourdough fermentation can be digested by people with coeliac 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 fibre.

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.

“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 hydrolysed wheat flour suitable for baking that reacts like gluten flour.

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