Sourdough fermentation or addition of organic acids or corresponding salts to bread improves nutritional properties of starch in healthy humans

J Nutr. 1995 Jun;125(6):1503-11. doi: 10.1093/jn/125.6.1503.


Postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses to barley bread containing organic acids or corresponding salts were evaluated in healthy human subjects. The satiety score and the rate and extent of in vitro starch digestion were also studied. Lactic acid was generated by use of a homofermentative starter culture or added to the dough. In addition, products were baked with Ca-lactate, or with Na-propionate at two different concentrations. Consumption of the product baked with a high concentration of Na-propionate significantly lowered the postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses, and significantly prolonged the duration of satiety compared with all other breads. When subjects consumed the breads baked with sourdough, lactic acid and Na-propionate, their glucose and insulin responses were reduced compared with the wholemeal bread alone. The rate of in vitro amylolysis was reduced only by ingestion of the breads containing lactic acid, suggesting that the beneficial impact of Na-propionate on metabolic responses and satiety was related to effects other than a reduced rate of starch hydrolysis. All bread products had a similar concentration of in vitro resistant starch of 1.3-2.1 g/100 g (starch basis). It is concluded that sourdough baking and other fermentation processes may improve the nutritional features of starch. The results also demonstrate that certain salts of organic acids may have metabolic effects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Bread / analysis*
  • Bread / standards
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Hordeum / chemistry
  • Hordeum / metabolism
  • Hordeum / standards*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrolysis
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lactates / analysis
  • Lactates / pharmacology*
  • Lactic Acid
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value
  • Propionates / analysis
  • Propionates / pharmacology*
  • Satiety Response / physiology
  • Starch / analysis
  • Starch / metabolism
  • Starch / standards*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lactates
  • Propionates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Starch
  • propionic acid