Celiac.com 02/23/2015 - There's an interesting article over at Mother Jones regarding the possible role that shorter rising times in most commercial bakeries might play in celiac disease and gluten-intolerance.
In the article, author Tom Philpott interviews Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder at Washington State University, who points out that bread rising times in commercial bakeries has been cut from hours or even days down to just minutes, through the use of fast-acting yeasts and additives.
So bakers are using more gluten and fermenting very rapidly, compared with traditional fermentation techniques that take up to 12 hours and more. By contrast, the team in Jones' laboratory, located in a rural stretch along Puget Sound has found that the longer the bread rises, the more the gluten proteins are broken down in the finished bread.
It's certainly true that long fermentation reduces the amount of gluten in bread, and that long fermentation using strains of lactobacillus, as in many sourdough breads, breaks down even more of the gluten; in some cases, enough to be tolerated by people with celiac disease.
Celiac.com has written about this in several articles on the future of long-fermentation sourdough, its tolerability and gut healing potential in people with celiac disease.
However, Jones' notion that modern baking techniques, rather than modern wheat breeding techniques, are responsible for rising rates of celiac disease, and gluten-sensitivity remains unproven.