Modern Baker has pledged to ‘bring better baking to Britain’ by heading up a two-year research and development project into improving the nutritional quality of bread.

The Oxford-based bakery business has been awarded funding of £763,000 by innovation agency Innovate UK to conduct the research by using fermented sourdough and producing healthier loaves on a mass-market scale.

Modern Baker will work with Newcastle University’s Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences to test the value of a given food on gut health using its model gut system, a lab version of the human digestive system. The brand will also work alongside food research technology agency Campden BRI.

Leo Campbell, co-founder of Modern Baker, said the funding was the best validation the business could have received.

“Having access to some of the world’s leading food and medical research facilities in gut health will help us make the breakthrough the baking sector badly needs - the ability to move away from unhealthy fast carbs to slow-carb baking,” said Campbell.

The findings on gut health will be published in an academic paper in 2019.

Gut health was recently flagged up as one of 2018’s trends for the baking industry by food industry expert Jane Milton, ‘chief inspiration officer’ at the Food & Drink Innovation Network.