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Sourdough starter culture microbiomes influence physical and chemical properties of wheat bread

GaryBishop's picture

Sourdough starter culture microbiomes influence physical and chemical properties of wheat bread

Found through this link at Colorado State:


Sourdough fermentation is an ancient leavening method that uses wild yeasts to produce carbon dioxide, contributing to bread rise, and bacteria which produce organic acids. Sourdough starter cultures are known to be diverse in terms of the microorganisms they comprise and while specific genera and species of microorganisms have been identified from starters and associated with specific attributes, overarching relationships between sourdough starter culture microbiomes and bread quality are not well understood. The objective of this study was to characterize differences in the physical and chemical properties of breads produced with sourdough starter cultures with unique microbiomes. Sourdough starter cultures (n = 20) of known microbial populations were used to produce wheat-based dough and bread, which were analyzed for chemical and physical properties then compared to their microbial populations in order to identify relationships between microbial profiles and dough/bread qualities. All samples were also compared to bread produced only with Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast). Significant differences among pH, titratable acidity, loaf volume, crumb firmness, crust color, free amino acids, and organic acids were observed when comparing sourdough breads to the yeast-only control (p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, bacterial diversity of sourdough starter cultures was correlated with lactic acid and free amino acid in the dough and loaf volume and crumb firmness of baked breads. No significant correlations were found between fungal diversity and measured outcomes. These data demonstrate the importance of considering sourdough starter microbiomes as an ingredient in baked goods and they contribute to quality and safety outcomes in bread production. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Sourdough starter cultures have diverse and dynamic populations of bacteria and yeasts, which contribute to the production of bread products. These populations can influence the physical and chemical properties of sourdough fermentation and final breads. Understanding of the relationship between sourdough starter microbiomes and bread quality parameters can lead to targeted development of sourdough bread products with specific physical and chemical properties.

I was able to access the full article. Message me if you'd like a copy.


tpassin's picture

Interesting how the university PR office makes health claims the focal point but the actual paper doesn't investigate health claims.

Gary, since you can read the entire paper, are there a few points of interest that you can summarize for us?


GaryBishop's picture

A rule I learned from Fred Brooks is "Talk about everything you've done and nothing you haven't done."

I have not yet read the paper. I'm busy getting ready for flooring replacement. No baking fun for me until next week when I hope to try Rene's SD biga approach.