For a bread to be labelled and sold as “sourdough”, the dough must be fermented over a period of 12 – 48 hours.
Woolworths sourdough breads contain less than 15% fermented dough.
Whether related to my stroke or not, I’ve become intolerant of wheat-based products like bread.
I’ve been tested for coeliac disease although it was only the blood test which returned negative.
While I can’t eat bread, I can eat sourdough.
OK, the side effects..
If I eat bread, within hours I feel lethargic, drained, listless and tired. Not quite ill or sick but feeling very low. I go to bed early, go for a walk the following day and the effects begin to subside. By late the next day I will be back to normal.
Now here’s the point of this story: sourdough labelled and sold by Woolworths Australia is NOT sourdough.
I bought a loaf of sourdough bread from Woolworths, ate it and experienced the side effects mentioned above.
No, I hadn’t read the “contents” until after I had eaten it. Who looks for the “percentage” in a product?
How can a product be sold as “sourdough” when it has less than 15% sourdough in it?
There is no dispute that the sourdough bread dough requires a 12-48 hour fermentation period. One wonders how long Woolworths ferments its dough?
It should have been called 15% Sourdough | Not even close to real sourdough bread.
In the press..
Dispute over whether ‘breads ain’t breads’ leaves sour taste
By Sarah Whyte and John Elder | smh.com.au
14 July 2013
Consumers are being misled by Woolworths, Coles and bakeries that label their bread as ”sourdough” despite it being little more than sour-flavoured white bread, artisan bread makers say.
Bakers across Australia are calling for the definition of sourdough to be regulated, as it is in France, saying it is unfair that major supermarkets and bakeries sell an inferior bread at the same price.
Bread: do you know what you’re buying?
By Stephanie Gardiner
17 October 2011 | smh.com.au
The quicker process of baking the breads found in bulk on supermarket shelves takes away the benefits of a fermentation period.
The excellent coeliac.org.au describes Sourdough as a fermented bread, most commonly made from wheat, using predominantly Lactobacillus bacteria, sometimes combined with yeast, to create lactic acid and gas (nitric oxide) to give sourdough its unique characteristics and flavours.
The activity of these bacterial strains produces enzymes that can break down gluten (and other proteins), BUT this ‘break down’ is not complete and cannot target all gluten in the product, as unlike being in a liquid form, the enzymes cannot move around the dough to break down all the gluten. The main problem with fermentation is that, although gluten is being broken down, the active component of the gluten can still remain intact which is undetected by laboratory analysis. This is because the gluten markers for detection are broken down, but not the active components that trigger coeliac symptoms and intestinal damage.
A recent study by an Italian research group, Calasso et al, applied sourdough microbiology to gluten free breads made from rice, corn and amaranth. It was found that the nitric oxide produced by the bacterial activity may enhance the recovery of intestinal inflammation, which may have significant benefit to those who are newly diagnosed and have just commenced a gluten free diet.
The conclusion is that wheat based sourdough is not safe for those on a gluten-free diet, however, gluten free sourdough could be extremely beneficial, especially for the newly diagnosed.