Super Yeast, Super Bread

A bacterium/yeast combo that can be used in all flours to double the nutrition of breads. Since bread is a staple food in almost every culture, the nutritional benefits of this breakthrough will be exponentially impactful.

@Karu, @Amy_Proulx , @Aubreymen, @Athma, @ganesanv, @Seifu, you might be able to give us feedback here.

Do you know if anyone is already working on this? Is it realistic but at the same time audacious enough to qualify as a breakthrough?

Breakthrough - that’s a hilarious way to put it. Sourdough bread, the most traditional way of making bread in the world, has been naturally using yeast and bacteria combinations since time immemorial. Doubling nutrition - that’s an audacious claim. What doubling are you suggesting? We know already that lactic acid fermentation improves trace minerals bioavailability over Saccharomyces fermentation. But macronutrient nutrition is not going to double without doubling mass.

@Amy_Proulx - I’ll get my dad to chime in on this. They’ve worked on this in Egypt, using amino acid producing yeast to increase protein. The goal of their project was to increase nutrition of bread without having to rely on a higher protein wheat.

@Amy_Proulx - This has been worked on in the past, even by ancient Egyptians, and by people in San Francisco 3 decades ago. My lab with Dr. Eid Megeed from Egypt hunted down a strain of Lactobacillus fermentum used to make baladi bread (200 kinds) and found that this bacterium with Saccharomyces exiguuis (spelling?) were actively used in Egypt. We used analog selection to step up the lacto strain to make 3200 ppm lysine (from 1 ppm) (not with GMO modification but by simple selection) and it was favorably tested in 600,000 loaves /day for 6 months. It never really caught on because nobody seemed to care about nutrition. BUT NOW, with all the arrows pointing to nutrition we think there would be a tremendous competition to fashion strains that overproduce lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan (precursor of serotonin) and phytase to free up zinc and iron, and maybe and enzyme to destroy mycotoxins. It would be a free-for-all and lots of people in lots of places would benefit. Yes, the nutrition would be enhanced, and there are clear metrics to determine how much. Double, or triple the nutrition, not by making more protein, but rather by supplementing with the most appropriate essential amino acids.

This is useful clarification. Saying that something “doubles nutrition” is not the same as saying that the fermentation organism utilizes lysine synthesis during fermentation to balance amino acid composition. Lysine is going to be a limiting amino acid in grain centred diets, but dietary diversification through inclusion of something as simple as lentils, which are limiting in sulphur amino acids rather than lysine is a basic fix. Within the MENA regional context, how many bakeries are using spontaneous fermentation, sourdough style, versus culturing with identity preserved novel fermentation cultures?

I’ve thought many times about the freshness (and the use by date) of flour vs. unmilled grain. Some report 20-year-old grain that grinds and tastes just fine. And then there’s the grain found in Egyptian tombs that have been sprouted and grown, maybe 3,000 years old?

Harvest date isn’t as crucial with grains as it is with fresh produce. Instead, the milling date becomes critical.

Wheat and other grains are most tasty and most nutritious immediately after milling. As flour, the flavor and nutrition in grains begin to degrade as oxygen goes to work on it.

Buckwheat, corn, oats, and rye are even more susceptible to fast degradation than wheat.

The best answer I came up with, as simple as it may sound, is to grind the grain immediately before using it, like aficionados of coffee do with their beans.

I’ve milled hard winter wheat for bread and soft white wheat for biscuits shortly before baking and the taste was markedly better than store-bought flour that may have sat on a shelf in the store or at my home for extended periods. It’s a bit of a bother to mill grain at home, but I wonder what the flavor and nutrition difference would be if my local grocery milled flour the way some stores grind coffee? Maybe inventory could be held to a week or so after milling?

What if local bakeries, pizza restaurants, and other high volume users of flour purchased wheat berries and milled the flour on-site? It seems reasonable to expect it would be more nutritious and likely would taste better. The establishments could also sell flour to the community.

Could this be a market-driven solution? If it’s noticeably better tasting and proven to be more nutritious, businesses could compete to deliver these better goods and services.

This isn’t a very high tech solution, but no matter how good your grain gets it’s still going to degrade after milling it.

We have Silver Hills Bakery up here that does not mill the grain, but sprouts it! CRAZY short shelf life, but so tasty, and much healthier. Why Sprouted - Silver Hills Bakery
We have been looking at sauces and spreads as a better way to get the nutrition numbers up. Bread for the bulk and fiber, spreads for the nutrition so it could be stabilized longer. Compounds from algae and duckweed (the Dutch call it “water lentil”) are a better way to get there I think. An animal feed company called Alltech (Mark Lyons, President/CEO was at the Visioneers Summit in 2017) does solid state fermentation for super nutrition products (heterotrophic algae). I believe the time will come that we will just take the animals out of the process.
Duckweed is the MOST complete and sustainable food. An XPRIZE with metrics for total nutrition/production efficiency would most certainly be won by a team that figures out how to effectively industrialize growth, that is move it into closed containment. We have designed a system, but some of the components are not yet good enough and affordable enough to make it possible. We’re getting closer all the time! New study looks at duckweed protein, nutritional value to humans
I have posted about this here before.