Sourdough Library

A unique collection of natural ferments providing a range of flavours

In 2013 we launched our «Puratos Sourdough Library» in the Center for Bread Flavour in Saint-Vith, Belgium. It gathers an authentic collection of sourdoughs (of different flavours) from all over the world. Our initiative has provided a real heritage source for bakers and consumers around the world.

Our aim is to preserve the biodiversity of leaven agents and the know-how on using sourdough in bakery.

Sourdough Library
Sourdough

For this reason, Puratos decided to create a library dedicated to the conservation and promotion of sourdoughs from all over the world. In this way we can ensure the survival of the biodiversity of strains for the future. The library started off with 43 sourdoughs and now counts 84! Every year we focus our attention on one country or region in particular, and we collect as many different sourdoughs as possible. Our partner, Professor Marco Gobbetti, analyses their composition for micro-organisms in his laboratory.

More than 700 strains of wild yeast and 1.500 lactic bacteria have been recorded so far.

The library is a non-profit making initiative. It is Puratos’ way of contributing to the wonderful world of natural ferments and the technology of fermentation while guaranteeing bakers the safeguard of their sourdough. It also helps us to become better at our job, thanks to the study of their composition.

What is sourdough?

Sourdough is a natural agent used for making bread which ferments and causes the bread to rise. It is made of flour, water, micro-organisms, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, naturally present in the basic ingredients. The taste of sourdough depends on the micro-organisms and their association and can vary a great deal. A large number of different sourdoughs exist and each one gives bread a unique taste.