What the Fructan!

I had a very interesting talk the other day with Dietician and blogger Sarah Danaher. Sarah  (see www.sarahdietitian.com) has a wealth of knowledge and experience in food and health matters. She explained to me that some people who experience what they think is an intolerance to gluten may actually be having a reaction to fructans. Fructans are storage units of carbohydrates (polymers of fructose, apparently) and are found in many foods, including wheat. It could be the fructans fermenting in your gut that are causing you discomfort when you eat certain types of bread. The good news for sourdough bread eaters is that the long fermenting process in real sourdough baking helps to ferment and breakdown these polymers thus reducing the nasty symptoms.

sourdough starter
A flour and water mix being fermented by sourdough micro-organisms

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