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Connecting the art of bread, with the science of gut health

The topic of gut health is quickly gaining better understanding, and consequently gaining traction in the bakery industry. What can you expect from the next generation of Happy Gut breads? Puratos is investing in gut health research and working with both short and long-term projects to bring high-quality gut-friendly ingredients to market. Stay informed about the research and future possibilities of the Happy Gut bread range.

Start the day with a proper breakfast and you instantly feel the impact on your body. We influence our health by what we eat, especially if it influences the gut favourably. But measuring, and learning how to optimize that “gut feeling” is a tremendous challenge. To better understand the effect of bread on our gut health, Puratos and its partner universities have invested in breakthrough technologies. We met up with Prof. Marco Gobbetti, a world-renowned microbiologist, to discuss the latest insights on bread and gut health.

Researching a “gut feeling”

Gobbetti’s team works all over the globe. They collaborate with Puratos and other scientists to examine the impact of fermentation on modern day breads. As Gobbetti states: in our labs - at the Noi Tech Park in Bolzano - “We’ve the ability to ferment everything”.  The goal of this work is already shifting and more and more the positive impact of sourdough fermentation and enzymes on gut health is the focus.

Prof. Marco Gobbetti is working with a brand new simulator that models the human intestinal tract, it’s called the SHIME. As Gobbetti explains, “This equipment can reproduce almost the same conditions as our human intestinal track … with the advantage that all the conditions are monitored. With it, you can study the effects of particular dietary habits, nutrients or foods, under standardized conditions.”

This detailed research into the role and diversity of the human microbiome is radically changing the way we think about bacteria and bread fermentation. “Currently we are using this equipment to confirm the better digestibility of sourdough bread compared to baker’s yeast bread and chemical-leavened bread. We’re hoping to see whether sourdough may have an effect on the diversity, and functionality of the intestinal microbiome of humans.” 

Further research has shown that sourdough and enzymatic fermentations have a direct influence on the type and amount of bread prebiotic compounds (such as fibres) contained in the gut. These compounds help the gut microbiome maintain a healthy balance, positively affect immune response and inhibit pathogenic bacteria growth. 1, 2

Will Puratos’ research lead to new happy gut solutions?

Puratos is working on projects that will bring high-quality gut-friendly ingredients to the market. Here too, health, taste and texture are important. Puratos is working on enzyme and sourdough-based innovations to bring more dietary fibres to your bread for a Happy Gut approach. With our over 100 years of expertise in bakery products Puratos never stops exploring, thinking, and discovering new ways to make the most out of ingredients that are so loved by consumers. It’s all about helping our customers grow their business by making a healthy, balanced gut accessible to consumers through the tastiest Happy Gut breads.

  1. Cloetens, L. 2019. https://lirias.kuleuven.be/1758429?limo=0
  2. Korakli, M. et al. Journal of Applied Microbiology 92.5 (2002): 958-965.