Effects of a novel propionate-rich sourdough bread on appetite and food intake

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul;66(7):789-94. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.1. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


Background: There is evidence linking oral propionate to a reduction in food intake, which could confer functional food properties in the fight against obesity. However, propionate is typically volatile with a pungent smell and taste and so incorporating into foods naturally, at levels acceptable to the consumer is a novel approach.

Subjects/methods: Twenty healthy, young, normal weight unrestrained eaters underwent an acute feeding study using a palatable sourdough and an identical control bread of a similar palatability, in a randomized cross-over balanced design for the assessment of appetite and energy intake.

Results: No difference in energy intake of an ad libitum test meal, 180 min after the bread-based breakfast or in energy and macronutrient intake over the entire 24 h period was found between breads. Visual analogue scale ratings for appetite were not influenced by bread type, except the desire to eat something sweet. Elevated plasma insulin concentrations were observed following the propionate-rich sourdough breakfast (P=0.033 no effects of treatment on postprandial glycaemia were found.

Conclusions: These findings suggest propionate-rich sourdough bread does not influence appetite and food intake unlike larger doses of the food preservative N-propionate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Bread*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Food Preservatives / pharmacology
  • Functional Food
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity* / prevention & control
  • Postprandial Period
  • Propionates / pharmacology*
  • Taste*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Food Preservatives
  • Insulin
  • Propionates
  • propionic acid