Our History

Over the last 100 years, we've been driven by a passion for innovation and the will to continuously improve everything we do. The close relationships with you, our customers, have always inspired us to go above and beyond expectations.

And as a family company we believe it is important to have an impact in this world which goes beyond the creation of economic value. That is why we have taken clear commitments in the past 100 years, but also for the centuries to come. For the farmers and suppliers we work with, the people at Puratos, the communities in which we live and for whom we work, our product heritage, for the health & well-being of customers and consumers and last but not least, for Planet Earth.

Thank you for the past century and let's continue building the future together.

Let's continue the magic.

Puratos started in a garage

1919

 

Puratos is founded in Brussels, Belgium. Mister Henri Groot wanted to create, produce and sell raw materials for bakers and confectioners. As a trial, he imported jelly for the production of rusks from the Netherlands. In 1920 he teamed up with his son and started to produce products for pastry and ice cream. Father and son initially worked under the name Henri Groot & Fils but they will soon also start using Puratos, the name that will live on for a century and more.

Discover the key facts and figures of our company today, a century later.

Innovation is in our DNA

20's

 

From the start, Henri Groot and his son invested in research and innovation. That quest for new products is truly engrained in the DNA of the company. The first patent was a leavening agent based on bee honey.

Later, Pura-Malté was launched. A branded bread based ona mixture of toasted wheat germs with malt and bran that gives the bread a malty taste - which was highly original at the time. The wheat germs were roasted in a machine invented by Professor Picard, who is known for his record breaking helium filled balloon flights and as the inventor of the batiscaphe, an unmanned submarine.

The bread tasted great and it was good for your health too which was emphasized during a promotional lifebuoy display that read "Save your health with Pura-Malté".

To make the bread even more attractive a special oval mold was created together with a bread wrapper. Today we take branded packages for granted, but in those days they were quite remarkable.

Today Puratos is still investing heavily in innovation, research and development.

Pura-Malté
Health & Well-being has always been a top priority

30's

 

After the tremendous success of Pura-Malté, Pan'Or was created, a bread mix for those on a diet. Pursuing our research on healthy breads, Germo Blè was also created, a bread with high vitamins content.

The young company had over 36 products in range by then. It's also in the 30's that Puratos was used for the first time as a business and brand name.

Discover how today Puratos is still committed to health and well-being solutions.

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Pigeons saved the company

40's

 

The war took its toll and in the years to follow, the supply of fat and sugar was heavily rationed. As these were essential raw materials, the economic situation of the company became disastrous and all employees received a letter of dismissal. But the leadership of the company could not let this happen and searched for a solution.

In 1949, pigeon racing was a very popular pastime, especially among Puratos’ bakery customers. By accident, it was discovered that pigeons eating Pura-Malté bread looked much healthier and performed better in flight too. Pigeon clubs were visited in the evening to convince their members that the Pura-Products would make champions of their feathered friends. Village after village, town after town, they started taking orders on late-evening tours.

The company got out of troubled waters and flourished again, an incredible feat in the harsh post-war years.

Pigeons
The first true bread improver and client service

50's

 

In 1953, T500 is launched. The first ever complete bread improver which included fat, emulsifier, sugar and vitamin C.

To sell T-500, demonstrations were given as the art of baking is not an easy one. The weather and the temperature may turn and influence the bread, the new season’s flour may be unexpectedly different, the yeast could be ageing, and different machines might generate different results. The first demonstrator started traveling all over Europe to help bakers. In order to share information on a regular basis, a periodical magazine was published (in a time when newsletters didn’t exist), manuals and tutorials were introduced and even a red telephone was set up in order to answer clients’ questions.

Today, a global network of Innovation Centers and a team of technical advisors is at your service in to help you further develop skills in bakery, patisserie and chocolate.

T500
Headquarter in Groot-Bijgaarden and the start of the second generation

60's

 

Puratos moves to Groot-Bijgaarden on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium, where the company’s headquarter is still located today. Halfway the history of Puratos the second generation of the family also starts joining the company. They will launch Puratos into a new era of internationalization with innovative products and a diversification of the product range.

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The next level of bread improvement

70's

 

By the mid-1970s, twenty years after the invention of the revolutionary T500, the competition had finally caught up with Puratos — at least from a technical point of view. If Puratos wanted to stand out from the rest again, the laboratory would have to come up with something fresh and unseen.

In 1975, S500 saw the light. Thanks to S500, Puratos could gradually open up new markets such as the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It has since grown into a major product for the group with more than 100 formulas, adapted to local needs around the globe. S500 is now sold somewhere in the world every 80 seconds.

S500
The start of Belcolade, the real Belgian chocolate

80's

 

In the 1980s, one after the other major flagship chocolate companies in Belgium was bought up by foreign groups. The country risked losing a part of its national heritage. At the same time, for a company that focused on a complete portfolio for bakers and pastry makers, chocolate was a missing link. So Puratos decided to launch Belcolade.

For chocolate, taste is what makes the difference. Therefore, Puratos wanted full control over all ingredients and the process, which also implied sourcing the beans. The origin, the way the beans are treated, the fermentation, the drying process and the recipe all play a critical role in the creation of the best tasting chocolate.

Belcolade’s explorers travel the globe looking for cocoa beans with very different and unique characteristics. For more information on Belcolade, visit www.belcolade.com

Belcolade
Mastering the full production process

90's

 

By the end of this decade, Puratos is the only company in the sector that produces in-house all necessary building blocks for a high-performance improver or bread mix.

It’s also then, that we launched our sourdough range under the name Sapore. As this is an anagram of “operas”, all Sapore products get the name of an opera like Traviata, Norma, Oracolo and many more.

Discover our current range of improvers and sourdoughs.

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The launch of O-tentic and the further expansion of our product portfolio

2000's

 

By using the very latest fermentation technology, Puratos created O-tentic. A product that allows bakers to easily create breads with a unique aroma profile and authentic character. And that with just 4 ingredients: flour, water, salt and O-tentic.

In 2004 Puratos acquired PatisFrance, the leading French national distributor and a manufacturer specialized in processing fresh fruits and nuts. Together with the launch of other now products like Harmony Sublimo, Cryst-o-fil, Ambiante and Acti-fresh, it allowed Puratos to further extend its product portfolio for bakers, patissiers and chocolatiers.

Otentic
Taste Tomorrow, the first global consumer survey for bakery, patisserie and chocolate

2011

 

Customer support has been in the DNA of the company since the early days. As the world is continuously changing, it is critical for our customers to anticipate what will come next. That is why, at the end of 2011, Puratos traveled around the world for the first time to gather data from consumers about their perceptions and behavior regarding bread, pastry, patisserie and chocolate. It resulted in our unique Taste Tomorrow survey, which provides in-depth insights into global and local consumer attitudes and choices. Tracking the evolution of trends and unveiling new ones.

Discover more about our latest Taste Tomorrow survey.

TasteTomorrow
Launch of our Sensobus, a fully equipped sensory analysis lab on wheels

2012

 

Taste is a key criteria for consumers when they buy bakery, pastry, patisserie and chocolate. But how can we help our customers to create the best tasting finished goods? By going to the consumer and asking him of course!

That is why in 2012 the Sensobus was launched. It is a unique and fully-equipped sensory analysis lab on wheels that can travel to where consumers shop for food and welcome up to 300 people a day.

Since then, a full range of mobile consumer sensory analysis solutions are available across the globe. It is traditional research done in a contemporary way.

Find out more about our Sensobus solutions today.

Sensobus
Opening of our unique Sourdough Library

2013

 

Passionate about sourdough for years, we are convinced that The Future of Bread Lies in its Past. We are excited to share this understanding of fermentation with our clients and help them create tasteful and high-quality breads, just like in the good old days.

Puratos decided to protect the wonderful diversity of bread from all around the world. We gather sourdoughs from various regions and preserve them in a specially constructed “Sourdough Library” in the east of Belgium. Here, we are currently preserving over one hundred and twenty sourdoughs from around the world, and are thus playing a key role in maintaining the biodiversity and heritage of bread.

Discover our unique sourdough library.

SourdoughLibrary
Opening of the first Bakery School in Mumbai, India

2014

 

When Puratos started operating in India, we noticed many children on the streets. They were youngsters with little hope for the future. Their parents earned minimal wages and had no possibility of investing in their children’s education. At the same time, we became aware of the challenge we faced in finding qualified technical advisors, whilst our customers faced serious shortages of skilled bakers, patissiers and chocolatiers.

In order to help those who are less fortunate and teach them the skills they need to work in our industry, we decided to open a bakery school. The courses have been designed to take pupils beyond basic education and give them the practical training they need to earn a decent living. The programme includes periods of internships in various companies for which the students are paid. We also commit to employing graduates in our subsidiaries, on the basis of their merit, or to finding work for them among our customers.

Today the Bakery School Foundation has invested in bakery schools in India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Others will open soon. By 2030 we aspire to be continuously enabling 1.000 young people from developing countries to live their passion in one of our bakery schools.

Discover the Bakery School Foundation

BakerySchoolIndia
Launching Cacao-Trace: a game changing approach to sustainable sourcing

2015

 

The traditional way of working in the chocolate industry does not provide a sustainable future and the prices paid for cocoa are too low. This forces many cocoa farmers stop cultivating cocoa and convert their plantations or simply to quit agriculture completely. In recent years, the industry has focused on helping farmers produce more cocoa but this has resulted in even lower prices.

Cacao-Trace differentiates itself through focusing on taste improvement. Our exceptional fermentation expertise and an unparalleled international network of post-harvest centres are key to creating superior tasting chocolate. We train our farmers and help them to deliver cocoa beans of superior quality. Together with our customers & their consumers, we reward our farmers for their superior quality cocoa beans by providing them with an additional and sustainable income. The Cacao-Trace programme guarantees a premium price and our unique Chocolate Bonus of €0.10 per kg sold, 100% paid back. This game-changing added value strategy is resulting in tangible impacts on farmers' living income.

By focusing on superior taste and creating more value for all parties involved, Cacao-Trace is the only sustainable cocoa sourcing programme that is redefining the standard for chocolate.

Discover the Cacao-Trace programme.

CacaoTrace
The new shareholders join the board and strengthens our commitment to the next generation

2016

 

One of the strengths of family-owned companies is to think in terms of generations rather than quarterly results. In 2016 the new generation of shareholders joined the board and stressed the importance of having an impact in this world which goes beyond the creation of economic value. That is why we have taken clear commitments in the past 100 years, but also for the centuries to come. For the farmers and suppliers we work with, the people at Puratos, the communities in which we live and for whom we work, our product heritage, for the health & well-being of customers and consumers and last but not least, for Planet Earth.

Discover our commitments to you and the next generation.

OurCommitments
100 years of Puratos

2019

 
Puratos has covered an incredible road in one hundred years. In 1919, the first loaves of bread rose in a small workshop in Brussels and were delivered to only a few bakers. In 2019, an international group with a two-billion Euro turnover employs over 9.000 employees in 63 production units and 104 subsidiaries. The product range supplies the whole chain of bakers, confectioners, chocolatiers, retailers, industrials and food service companies in some one hundred countries.
100YearsPuratos
The sky is the limit

Beyond

 

There is little doubt that humans are likely to become an interplanetary species. Probably before the end of this century we will have founded a colony on another planet – namely, Mars! To establish a durable and sustainable colony on Mars, the Human Martians will need to produce the bulk of their food themselves. For this, specialists agree that the ideal staple food will be bread. This is because bread is universally accepted and the most complete and nutritious food item allowing for innumerable varieties. But, to make bread one needs to investigate the possibility of cultivating grains in hermetically closed and fully controlled environments. The whole process needs to be considered, from grain seeds to crops and from crops to tasty bread.

The key to solving these problems may lie in our past. We may have to return to stone milling, since there are huge amounts of basalt on Mars. At the same time, innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence will need to be introduced. Very important is the fact that the discoveries we will make will lead to formidable innovative applications on planet Earth; sometimes in unexpected fields. The Puratos Group is already seriously working on such spin-offs which, we hope, will contribute significantly to make our lives here on Earth more comfortable, healthier, and much more sustainable.

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Our Organisation

Learn more about the Puratos organisation, a global, customer-centred organisation and close-knit family company.

Mission and Vision

Our mission and vision focus on meeting high standards and helping our customers to succeed.