Sourdough lactobacilli and celiac disease

Food Microbiol. 2007 Apr;24(2):187-96. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 Sep 12.


Celiac disease (CD) is one of the most common food intolerance. The only effective treatment for CD is a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet throughout the patient's lifetime. Gluten-free products are not widely available and are usually more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts. There is, therefore, an urgent need to develop safe and effective therapeutic alternatives, to develop high-quality gluten-free products and to investigate the potential of the bread making biotechnology following ancient protocols which include long-time fermentation by selected sourdough lactic acid bacteria. This review describes the most relevant results related to biotechnologies that use selected sourdough lactic acid bacteria and probiotics as starters for sourdough fermentation to investigate their potential to decrease the risk of gluten contamination in gluten-free products. As shown by studies in vitro on celiac intestinal tissue and in vivo on CD patients, the bacterial proteolytic activity is rather promising not only as currently demonstrated for eliminating traces of contaminant gluten but probably also in perspective for the manufacture of tolerated baked goods.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bread / microbiology*
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Fermentation*
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Microbiology
  • Glutens / administration & dosage
  • Glutens / adverse effects
  • Glutens / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*


  • Glutens