New research brings good news for gluten free bread alternatives

September 3, 2018

Have you ever wondered what’s so special about sourdough bread?  Other than its unique taste and texture, of course.  Sourdough bread is made with multiple types of bacteria in addition to or in place of the traditional baker’s yeast used in regular bread.  These additional strains of bacteria ferment different sugars than baker’s yeast, which is fantastic news for people with IBS!  The fermentation process results in fewer gut irritants like oligosaccharides, a type of FODMAP carbohydrate.  That’s why a low FODMAP serving of sourdough bread is two slices, while a low FODMAP serving of regular bread is one slice. 

During the process of making sourdough bread, the fructans are converted to fructose.  The fructose is then converted to mannitol, which is still a FODMAP.  Research into new strains of bacteria for bread making has identified strains that, under the right conditions, can convert the mannitol into more gut friendly sugars, resulting in a very low FODMAP bread.  Those optimal conditions take into consideration multiple variables in bread making like the amount of time for fermentation (the rising step in bread baking), the temperature dough is kept at, the temperature the bread is baked at, the type of sugar that is used in making the dough, and the types of carbohydrates in the flour used in the dough.

Based on the latest research, it is possible to optimize the baking process for the conversion of high FODMAP sugars to low FODMAP sugars in a way that would yield a no FODMAP bread!  If you haven’t been able to eat bread because of the FODMAP content, this is a tantalizing prospect!  It’s about more than being able to eat a sandwich.  It’s also about having another gut friendly source of dietary fiber to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria strains in the intestine. 

Now, if you’re wanting to run out to the store and buy a loaf of no FODMAP sourdough bread, you’ll have to wait.  More research is required to find the best bacterial strains and optimal conditions to make a great tasting, no FODMAP, sourdough bread.  Check back here for updates and a review when no FODMAP bread is available!

If you’re interested in the scientific details, check out the following scholarly journal articles.

Loponen J, Ganzle MG. Use of Sourdough in Low FODMAP Baking. Foods. 2018 Jun 22;7(7).

Struyf N, Laurent J, Verspreet J, Verstrepen KJ, Courtin CM. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces marxianus Cocultures Allow Reduction of Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Monosaccharides and Polyols Levels in Whole Wheat Bread. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Oct 4;65(39):8704-8713.

Struyf N, Vandewiele H, Herrera-Malaver B, Verspreet J, Verstrepen KJ, Courtin CM. Kluyveromyces marxianus yeast enables the production of low FODMAP whole wheat breads. Food Microbiol. 2018 Dec;76:135-145.


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