Sourdough Bread

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Leah Franson Leah Franson 9 years ago.

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    Avatar of Leah Franson
    Leah Franson

    Can the gluten sensitive population tolerate sourdough bread because it ferments slower than other breads? Should they be encouraged to eat it?

    Avatar of Tammy Vo
    Tammy Vo

    The fermentation process of sourdough bread using various strains of lactobacillus bacteria hydrolyzes prolamins that cause celiac inflammation. This brings gluten concentration in sourdough bread down to as little as 10 ppm and lower, which many clinical celiacs have been shown to tolerate (Gobbetti et al, 2007; Rizzello et al, 2014). In addition to sourdough fermentation mitigating gluten concentration in traditional breads, it also yields numerous nutritional benefits for breads already considered gluten-free (Arendt et al, 2011).
    While the initial safety of sourdough-fermented bread as a substitute to GF bread for patients was contested (Di Cagno et al, 2010), multiple clinical trials independent of one another have proven it safe for extended consumption (Rizzello et al, 2014). In other words, why not? Bon appetit!


    Arendt, Elke K, Alice Moroni, and Emanuele Zannini. ‘Medical Nutrition Therapy: Use Of Sourdough Lactic Acid Bacteria As A Cell Factory For Delivering Functional Biomolecules And Food Ingredients In Gluten Free Bread’. Microb Cell Fact 10.Suppl 1 (2011): S15. Web.

    Di Cagno, Raffaella et al. ‘Gluten-Free Sourdough Wheat Baked Goods Appear Safe For Young Celiac Patients: A Pilot Study’. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 51.6 (2010): 777-783. Web.

    Gobbetti M, Giuseppe Rizzello C, Di Cagno R, De Angelis M. Sourdough lactobacilli and celiac disease. Food Microbiology. 2007;24(2):187-196. doi:10.1016/

    Rizzello C, Curiel J, Nionelli L et al. Use of fungal proteases and selected sourdough lactic acid bacteria for making wheat bread with an intermediate content of gluten. Food Microbiology. 2014;37:59-68. doi:10.1016/

    Avatar of Leah Franson
    Leah Franson

    Those findings are pretty convincing. In my own research, I found that the sourdough fermentation uses the lactic acid to stabilize the wheat germ, which holds gluten. This difference in fermentation of sourdough also enhances the nutritional value of the bread. All of these benefits are due to the lactobacilli which does the fermentation, by degrading the prolamins in the wheat, like the study you found showed (1). This special fermentation renders the gluten digestible for celiac patients. I wish more of the gluten free population knew about this, sourdough bread could be a healthier and cheaper alternative to the gluten free breads.

    Gobbetti M, et al. How the sourdough may affect the functional features of leavened baked goods. Food Microbiol. 2014 Feb;37:30-40. doi: 10.1016/

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