The Bread Box-Blog


sourdough bread

Based on Study Results, People with Wheat Sensitivity May Be Able to Eat Sourdough Bread

Even if you are sensitive to wheat products, you may be able to eat sourdough bread. That’s what researchers hope will result from a new study being conducted at the University of Alberta. They also hope to establish best practices for improving the wheat fermentation process to make the resulting sourdough bread more easily digestible to those with sensitivity to wheat.  

Who Is Conducting the Study?

  Dr. Michael Gänzle, a food microbiologist at the university, is conducting the research. It examines whether the sourdough bread fermentation process breaks the proteins and carbohydrates in wheat flour down to the extent that they no longer have an adverse impact on those sensitive to wheat products. The proteins and carbohydrates are reportedly the substances that cause wheat sensitivity. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that sourdough bread is tolerated by consumers with non-celiac wheat or gluten intolerance but the science is not available to back up these claims,” Gänzle said in a press release from the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC). “We aim to determine whether fermentation reduces or eliminates individual wheat components that are known or suspected to cause adverse effects.” The AWC is funding the study, in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), also in Canada, and the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotional Council.

Big Potential for Baking Industry & Consumers

While positive results of the study won’t necessarily mean that the small percentage of people with celiac disease can eat sourdough bread, it could allow people with wheat sensitivity to enjoy more bread. “This is a unique project that has exciting potential for the baking industry,” said Laura Weiter of Sask Wheat. “We hope the results will lead to products that more people can enjoy while creating new market opportunities for grain farmers.”

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