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Proposal for sourdough labeling

The Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) published a new industry code of practice for the labeling of sourdough products.

Currently, few European countries have existing regulations or Codes of Practice relating to the composition of sourdough.

FEDIMA members agree on using the term ‘sourdough’ only for products to which no additional additives, e.g. acids, bases and their salts, have been added to artificially adapt the acidity, to properly inform customers and consumers.

 In the proposal titled, “UK Baking Industry Code of Practice for the Labelling of Sourdough Bread and Rolls” from January 31, the ABIM suggests definitions for labeling and marketing purposes, to clearly state the nature of sourdough products:

  • ‘Sourdough (product name)’: a product in which live/active sourdough is used as the principal leavening agent; which may be made with the addition of a maximum of 0.2% compressed bakers’ yeast, or the equivalent level of cream, liquid, dried or frozen yeast, as calculated on the total flour weight of the final dough. Additives or flavorings in the final dough must not be used except for the mandatory flour fortification required by the UK Bread and Flour Regulations 19983. Products labeled in this way must not contain inactive/deactivated/devitalized sourdough.
  • ‘(Product name) with sourdough’: a product made with live/active sourdough, and/or inactive/deactivated/devitalized sourdough, where commercial bakers’ yeast has been used as the principal leavening agent in the final dough and which may also contain permitted additives. The product must NOT contain additives that are added specifically to impart a sourdough-type acidity, flavor or aroma to the finished product (e.g., acids or their salts).
  • ‘Sourdough flavor (product name)’
    • A product made with live and/or inactive/deactivated/devitalized sourdough, where the sourdough itself contains raw materials that have been added specifically to:
      • Increase the shelf life of the sourdough
      • Enhance the sourdough-type acidity, flavor and/or aroma of the finished bread
    • All sourdough flavor products in this category may contain bakers’ yeast and other permitted additives. Marketing terms should not imply that the bread characteristics have been achieved without the use of additives.

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