Variability in yeast invertase activity determines the extent of fructan hydrolysis during wheat dough fermentation and final FODMAP levels in bread

Int J Food Microbiol. 2020 Aug 2:326:108648. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2020.108648. Epub 2020 Apr 25.


Consumption of fructan-containing cereal products is considered beneficial for most people, but not for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as they should avoid the consumption of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (acronym: FODMAP). Controlling fructan levels in cereal products is not trivial. However, controlling yeast invertase-mediated hydrolysis of fructan during dough fermentation might offer a handle to modulate fructan concentrations. In this work, the variability in invertase activity and substrate specificity in an extensive set of industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains is investigated. Analysis showed a high variability in the capacity of these strains to hydrolyse sucrose and fructo-oligosaccharides. Industrial yeast strains with a high activity towards fructo-oligosaccharides efficiently reduced wheat grain fructans during dough fermentation to a final fructan level of 0.3% dm, whereas strains with a low invertase activity yielded fructan levels around 0.6% dm. The non-bakery strains produced lower levels of CO2 in fermenting dough resulting in lower loaf volumes. However, CO2 production and loaf volume could be increased by the addition of 3% glucose. In conclusion, this study shows that variation in yeast invertase activity and specificity can be used to modulate the fructan content in bread, allowing the production of low FODMAP breads, or alternatively, breads with a higher soluble dietary fibre content.

Keywords: Baker's yeast; Breadmaking; Dietary; Fibre; Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

MeSH terms

  • Bread / analysis
  • Disaccharides / analysis*
  • Fermentation
  • Fructans / analysis
  • Fructans / metabolism
  • Hydrolysis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / pathology
  • Monosaccharides / analysis*
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Sucrose / metabolism
  • Triticum / chemistry*
  • Yeast, Dried
  • beta-Fructofuranosidase / metabolism*


  • Disaccharides
  • Fructans
  • Monosaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Sucrose
  • beta-Fructofuranosidase