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Kaslo Sourdough research study reveals positive results

From left, Tania Lettrari, Sales, owners Gabi and Silvio Lettrari and GM Heidi Lettrari at a recent show. — Submitted photo

In August 2017 Kaslo Sourdough announced a research partnership with the University of Calgary’s Dr. Jane Shearer. The research project aimed to compare sourdough pastas against conventional pastas to see if there was an impact on blood glucose response and the human microbiome or gut bacteria in our intestines. Kaslo Sourdough is now pleased to share the results of this research.

Owner and operator Silvio Lettrari couldn’t be more excited. ‘We are very happy with the results. Dr. Shearer was able to ask additional questions to expand on the two initial ideas, and from data gathered during the study, including the sequencing of the DNA from our sourdough culture, we now have a story to tell from the culture, the pasta, and its passage through the human body."

“Very few studies examine fermented products from their initial cultures to the product and how it influences the body," according to Dr. Shearer.

"This is an exciting continuum and has the potential to explain why fermented products exert specific health benefits."

Kaslo Sourdough’s sourdough starter culture was sequenced to establish the microorganisms present in the culture. Subsequently the fermented sourdough pasta product was analyzed and compared to conventional pastas to identify what organisms are present in each, and finally, the stool of participants were analyzed to see if there were any noticeable differences.

Healthy Lactobascilli from the sourdough pastas can contribute to a healthy microbiome because they crowd out other bacteria, some of which can be harmful to humans. Lactobascilli may also promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut microboime. In this sense, a higher presence of Lactobascilli is a good thing.

The gut microbiome contains a variety of different bacteria and fungi – good ones and bad ones, and the proportions of each fluctuate at different times. Interestingly, the results also showed that the Lactobascilli from Kaslo Sourdough’s fermented pastas also “crowded out” the growth of fungi, so there was lower fungal diversity in participants after they had eaten the sourdough pasta.

Overall, the results show that the Lactobascilli both directly and indirectly influence the fungal and bacterial diversity in participants. In conclusion, a healthy, dominant Lactobascilli in the digestive tract is associated with a healthy gut microbiome and reflect the health-promoting qualities of sourdough pasta.

“Having a healthy microbiome takes maintenance and it’s important to eat the right foods that help support good gut bacteria, and from what we’re seeing in the results, our pastas contribute to that,” Lettrari about the very positive results. 

Further, he summarized that “The Lactobacilli bacteria in our sourdough culture play an important role in producing the lactic acids that support the flourishing of good gut bacteria and that suppress the growth of other bacteria and fungi – they are a “police force” to be reckoned with.”

“It’s been rewarding to be a part of the study with Dr. Shearer, and in the coming months we’ll be working on figuring out how we can support the research publication," Kaslo Sourdough General Manager Heidi Lettrari added.

"We’re also grateful to all the people who took part in and supported the study – thank you.”

About Kaslo Sourdough.

Kaslo Sourdough is Kootenay-based, award-winning company known for their high quality products, innovation and leadership contributions to the grocery food industry in Western Canada. They have been producing sourdough pastas since February 2012. Most recently, in 2017 they won Product of the Year at the Vegan Expo with their hemp sourdough pasta.

Funding for this research project was provided by the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program, a program delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.