Where the Telegraph article does fall down is in its failure to recognise that UK bakers have already mastered the art of making large-volumed, fine-structured and soft-eating wholemeal bread products; but then I doubt that there were any bakers in the audience for the talk to make this practical observation.
The basic premise in the article is an over-simplification of what happens in wholemeal bread doughs. While there is the possibility that bran particles ’puncture’ the gas bubble surface, this implies that the film surrounding the gas bubbles cannot resist the pressure of the bran particle. But the bran will be soft as the result of hydration that takes place during dough mixing and processing.
It is much more likely that the bran particles provide ’points of weakness’ in the gluten network. Put simply, if two small gas bubbles are filled with and expanded by carbon dioxide gas, they grow large enough to stretch the gluten film, and where the two gas bubbles touch, the film bursts and one larger gas bubble is formed. Coalescence of gas bubbles commonly leads to loss of bread volume and coarser structure.
But, as I said above, plant bakers overcame this problem over 20 years ago.