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New Study: Sourdough in bread does not affect food intake in a subsequent meal - but rye might

Sourdough fermented bread has been suggested to have beneficial health effects, in part mediated by increased satiety after a meal. However, only limited research has been conducted to verify this under conditions typically found in commercial breads. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of different amounts of sourdough and rye in soft bread on subsequent appetite.

On six occasions, 23 healthy volunteers consumed five different test breads, with varying amount of rye and sourdough, and a yeast-fermented refined wheat control bread as part of a breakfast meal. The sourdough ranged between nine to 51 percent of dough weight. Rye content varied between 35 to 48 percent of flour weight. A lunch with no limits of food intake was served four hours after the breakfast meal, from which the voluntary energy intake was measured.

Some of the test breads, including those medium or high rye content, resulted in lower hunger ratings and increased sense of fullness compared to the refined wheat bread. None of the “low rye content breads” were significantly different from the wheat breads, irrespective of sourdough content. However, there were no differences between the different sourdough-rye breads, despite different rye content. This might be explained by the small difference in rye content (35-48%) among the different rye breads.

Microstructural examination of the test breads showed an increased aggregation of proteins in the breads with high content of sourdough, indicating additional changes to the breads, beyond change in pH, which may counteract the potential effect of decreased pH in the bread on appetite.

In conclusion, the study does not support an effect of sourdough on appetite and unlimited food intake. However, there are many different types of sour doughs and here only one type was tested.

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