Prolonged fermentation of whole wheat sourdough reduces phytate level and increases soluble magnesium

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 May;49(5):2657-62. doi: 10.1021/jf001255z.


This work was designed to compare the effects of different leavens (yeast, sourdough, and a mixture of both) on phytic acid (PA) degradation and to assess the repercussions of PA breakdown on phosphorus and magnesium solubility during bread-making. Sourdough fermentation was more efficient than yeast fermentation in reducing the phytate content in whole wheat bread (-62 and -38%, respectively). Furthermore, lactic acid bacteria present in sourdough enhanced acidification, leading to increased magnesium and phosphorus solubility. To intensify phytate breakdown, bran was incubated with microorganisms (yeast or sourdough) before bread-making. Using this new method, the percentage of phytate breakdown was near 90%, whereas 40% of phytate remained in traditional French bread. In conclusion, a prolonged fermentation with sourdough still leads to improved Mg and P solubility by decreasing phytate content and through acidification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bread / microbiology*
  • Fermentation
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Magnesium / chemistry
  • Phosphorus / chemistry
  • Phytic Acid / metabolism*
  • Solubility
  • Triticum
  • Yeasts / metabolism*


  • Phosphorus
  • Phytic Acid
  • Magnesium