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Puratos opens new Sourdough Institute

Puratos announced the opening of its new Sourdough Institute, a hub dedicated to celebrating the art, science and potential of sourdough. The Institute in Sankt Vith, Belgium, aims to “protect, research and inspire” the legacy of the popular ingredient on a global scale through work including masterclasses, online events and research. The new institute is also home to the well-known Sourdough Library, where 153 sourdoughs are currently stored, to ensure strain biodiversity in the future. Karl de Smedt was appointed head of the Sourdough Institute.

The library also has a vast analytical capability, where more than 1,500 strains have already been isolated, to better understand the fermentation process in the pursuit of better-tasting, healthier sourdough products.

The Institute will organize a variety of masterclasses, led by sourdough librarian Karl de Smedt and selected bakery experts. These hands-on classes will share best practice tips, techniques and recipes, as well as the science behind sourdough and its contribution to health and well-being, Puratos highlights.

Puratos’s Sourdough Institute will also focus on scientific research to uncover more about the benefits and potential applications of sourdough, and the art of making and using it. As part of this research, Puratos is working on a predictive model providing measurements including digestibility score, sustainable credentials, flavor, and shelf life, to help bakers improve the taste, health profile and sustainability of their creations.

“Puratos’s history with sourdough dates as far back as the 1980s – we have always been passionate about improving and advocating the flavor and health and well-being properties of sourdough products. Now with fast-growing consumer interest in recent years, there is a huge appetite for all things sourdough, which is why it’s the perfect time to open the Sourdough Institute,” comments Karl de Smedt, sourdough librarian, Puratos. “Unbelievably, research on sourdough is still in relative infancy. Since every sourdough is unique, it’s even more important that we improve our collective knowledge in this area. We want to become and help our customers become not just leaders, but pioneers in health, taste and sustainability. And by preserving sourdough’s heritage, furthering our research and educating bakers on best practices, we want to ensure its benefits continue to flourish for many more generations to come.”

More information on the Sourdough Institute and the masterclasses is available at

Photos: Puratos