Is Gluten Free Bread The Answer For Gluten Sensitivities?

Is Gluten Free Bread The Answer For Gluten Sensitivities?

As you know, there are many options available in the gluten free bread aisle these days at the supermarket.

But is gluten free bread the answer to those who have gluten sensitivities or celiac disease?

According to Whole Living’s recent article “Our Daily Bread”, there is evidence to suggest that gluten free bread may not be the answer for gluten sensitive patients.

Sourdough (or fermented) breads may be a good alternative!

According to the article:

Over the past decade, several studies have found that some people with gluten issues can tolerate intensely fermented wheat. One, published in 2007 in the peer-reviewed Applied and Environmental Microbiology, found that when wheat bread was thoroughly fermented, it reduced gluten levels from roughly 75,000 parts per million to 12—a level that technically qualifies as gluten-free. How is this even possible?

According to the literature, fermentation’s trick with sourdough lies in its native bacteria and yeasts. As these microbes feed on grain’s proteins and starches, they break down gluten into more digestible elements. They also gorge on the grain’s sugars, turning them into compounds that our stomachs absorb more slowly than the sugars in standard bread. “There is a transformation that happens with fermentation,” Peter Reinhart, the dean of American bread writers, told me. “It’s kind of a way of processing food without the heat.” As all these microbes munch away, pooping and farting as they go, they leave behind gases and more bacteria— the main elements of sourdough bread’s complex flavors. Expert bakers are thus essentially bug ranchers, managing their herds to achieve their signature balance between flatulence and, well, that other stuff. The result is a fecundity of enzymes, amino acids, and more than 200 flavor compounds.

Commercial bread cannot begin to duplicate this messy barnyard. Instead of being fertilized by a riot of voracious bugs, it is prepared with only one strain of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Because of its vigor, Saccharomyces was targeted (by the great Louis Pasteur) and ultimately commercialized into powdered form. This left the yeast artificially isolated from its mates—grain’s natural yeasts and bacteria. Jilted and lonely, Saccharomyces gobbles the dough’s microflora, rushing the fermentation process. Thus its bread’s relative flavorlessness— and the agent’s nickname: “instant yeast.” Bakers tolerate the yeast’s drawbacks because it affords a recipe that is idiot-proof, and because it seriously speeds production.

Source: Whole Living “Our Daily Bread” article

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