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bbi-2024-02-“All sourdoughs harbor a different consortium of micro-organisms”

With a unique culture and a longstanding tradition, sourdough is used in new interpretations for unique creations. Karl de Smedt, sourdough librarian at Puratos, shares insights into the bustling scene of European sourdough creations, how to maintain a strain’s profile and how to work with sourdough in large-scale operations.

Catalina Mihu: What is an overview of the sourdough diversity in Europe, and the products traditionally made with them, in certain countries?
Karl de Smedt: To date, there have been no comprehensive studies of how sourdoughs vary between different countries throughout Europe, but we do know some demographics prefer certain sourdough flavor profiles. Geography also has an impact on the character and bread quality of sourdough, as factors like climate can affect its microbial diversity. What we do see after preserving a sourdough in the sourdough library is that each sourdough is unique. We have currently 153 samples from 31 countries. All of them harbor a different consortium of micro-organisms.