Up to one in five people may suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms can be mitigated through a diet that eliminates certain compounds found in food. A scientist from the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn proposes methods for making bakery products in such a way that they retain their nutritional value while being tolerated by people suffering from this digestive disorder.

– The healthiest bakery products recommended by nutritionists are often the least beneficial for people with irritable bowel syndrome. An example is whole-grain rye bread, rich in dietary fiber, which, however, is not recommended for people with the disorder. Fortunately, nowadays, thanks to acquired knowledge and appropriate technological processes, it is possible to produce nutritionally valuable bread that will not exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms in people with this disease,” emphasizes Dr. Marianna Raczyk of the Nutrigenomics Scientific Group at the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn.

The conclusions are presented in a review article outlining the world’s most current reports on the subject, which appeared in “Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition”. The authors are Dr. Marianna Raczyk and Dr. Marcus Schmidt of the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food at the Department of Safety and Quality of Cereals in Germany.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders for which a proper diet is crucial. Among other things, a group of carbohydrates called FODMAP – fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols – are responsible for exacerbating the symptoms of this chronic disease. This is a group of fermentable sugars and alcohols that the body is unable to break down and absorb in the small and large intestines. These are the ones that produce gases, causing, among other things, bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and other discomforts in people with IBS.

One of the main sources of FODMAPs in the diet includes bakery products, particularly whole-grain bread. – Cereals high in fructans, such as wheat, barley and rye, should be significantly reduced in a low FODMAP diet, hence it is difficult to choose the right bread for IBS patients – says Marianna Raczyk.

People with IBS are thus faced with the question: whether to eat whole-grain bread and thereby worsen their well-being, or choose light bread, which, however, is less nutritious.

– In order to improve the quality of life for IBS patients, it is therefore necessary to provide alternative products low in FODMAPs while maintaining nutritional values, the scientist points out, adding that it is not possible to completely eliminate FODMAP compounds from food, but they can be limited to so-called minimum threshold values


The authors of the publication focused on bakery products. Collecting the most up-to-date world reports on the subject, they propose the following methods to reduce the FODMAP content in products: the use of yeast fermentation and fermentation with lactic acid bacteria, appropriate selection of raw materials, suitably modified dough fermentation process or the use of additional enzymes or microorganisms that eliminate unfavourable compounds.

– These technologies are mostly known to bakery product manufacturers, but it is necessary to improve them and use them in a controlled manner to preserve the maximum amount of nutritional value, the researcher points out.

You can also control the FODMAP content yourself – in the production of home baked goods by choosing the right raw materials and the right dough kneading or fermentation process. For details, see the article


The range of low-FODMAP foods on the food market is expanding. – Manufacturers are working all the time to improve and expand them, as there is growing interest by consumers themselves but also by catering companies offering boxed diets just for people with IBS – the researcher says.

Today, these products are slightly more expensive than the conventional ones. – However, I would compare this to gluten-free products – just a few decades ago they were a novelty, and today they are very popular and often at a price comparable to conventional ones. I suppose it will be similar with low FODMAP products – the scientist concludes. – Irritable bowel syndrome affects about 10-20 percent of the population. The number of people diagnosed with the condition is growing every year. Patients with IBS need the support of dietitians to work off the right diet for them, so it is estimated that the demand for low FODMAP products will increase – Marianna Raczyk summarizes.

Data publikacji: 29.05.2023