Bread making technology influences postprandial glucose response: a review of the clinical evidence

Br J Nutr. 2017 Apr;117(7):1001-1012. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517000770. Epub 2017 May 2.


Lowering postprandial glucose and insulin responses may have significant beneficial implications for prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders. Bread is a staple food consumed worldwide in a daily basis, and the use of different baking technologies may modify the glucose and insulin response. The aim of this review was to critically record the human studies examining the application of different bread making processes on postprandial glucose and insulin response to bread. Literature is rich of results which show that the use of sourdough fermentation instead of leavening with Saccharomyces cerevisiae is able to modulate glucose response to bread, whereas evidence regarding its efficacy on lowering postprandial insulin response is less clear. The presence of organic acids is possibly involved, but the exact mechanism of action is still to be confirmed. The reviewed data also revealed that the alteration of other processing conditions (method of cooking, proofing period, partial baking freezing technology) can effectively decrease postprandial glucose response to bread, by influencing physical structure and retrogradation of starch. The development of healthier bread products that benefit postprandial metabolic responses is crucial and suggested baking conditions can be used by the bread industry for the promotion of public health.

Keywords: GI glycaemic index; II insulinaemic index; RS resistant starch; T2D type 2 diabetes; Bread processing; Bread volume; Glycaemic index; Insulin response; Insulinaemic index; Leavening techniques; Sourdough fermentation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bread / adverse effects*
  • Bread / analysis
  • Bread / microbiology
  • Cooking*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Fermentation
  • Frozen Foods / adverse effects
  • Frozen Foods / analysis
  • Frozen Foods / microbiology
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / metabolism
  • Levilactobacillus brevis / metabolism
  • Postprandial Period
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Starch / adverse effects
  • Starch / analysis
  • Starch / metabolism
  • Whole Grains / adverse effects
  • Whole Grains / chemistry


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Starch