A varied and balanced diet plays a crucial role in keeping us healthy and provides vital nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, dietary fibres and water. In this respect, baking bread was an evolutionary advancement, making it possible to access these nutrients from grain for the human body to digest. Since ancient times, bread has been a staple food across cultures.

Humans have the necessary metabolic resources to digest bread; however, as science and the use of commercial yeast changed the way we bake over the last 150 years, a noticeable increase in gluten intolerance started occurring. Western culture goes through phases of avoiding food groups, and recent trends claim that gluten and bread are bad for our health. Over the years, there have been changes in society's perception of bread from something sacred to something we try to avoid.

It could be argued that these negative perceptions of bread are the result of additional ingredients that have since been added to current bread-making processes and industrialised bakeries. Traditional bread recipes have three ingredients, as opposed to some manufactured bread, some which contains more than 30 ingredients.

A case could be made for the cause of this increased gluten intolerance originating from additional ingredients in industrial bread with fast-acting yeast, rather than the slower-processed fermented bread which has in recent times been scientifically proven to be good for our health. The lactic acid bacteria in sourdough can decrease anti-nutritional compounds and have an increased mineral bioavailability and decreased glycaemic index. In reaction to an increase in non-communicable diseases which commonly cause the loss of gut microbial species, fermentation products such as dietary fibres, metabolites and yeast or bacterial strains form a valuable strategy to increase gut microbiome diversity (Grompone, 2021). Current science shows that traditional sourdoughs have higher digestibility than bread leavened by baker’s yeast, making it relevant for human wellbeing.

A new movement towards sourdough and regaining knowledge about fermentation as a labour-intensive and time-consuming process aims to counter the loss of quality and 

health benefits of bread that occurred because of the need for easier methods and faster delivery. Customised sourdough has the potential to improve the nutritional properties of cereal products as well as addressing some of the major challenges facing the cereal industry.