New bacteria strain points the way toward 'super sourdough' bread

Mar 22, 2010
Sourdough bread could be even tastier and more healthful thanks to a new strain of bacteria reported at the American Chemical Society meeting. Credit: iStock

What better venue than San Francisco -- sourdough capital of the world -- to unveil a new natural sourdough ingredient that could replace conventional additives in a variety of other breads, while making them tastier and more healthful? And that's what scientists described today at the American Chemical Society's 239th National Meeting, being held here.

In the study, Maija Tenkanen, Ph.D., and colleagues reported discovery and use of a new strain of bacteria that convert the sugars in dough into produce dextrans. Dextrans are sugar molecules linked together into long chains that improve the texture and taste of the sourdough and help keep the bread fresh. These bacteria are available commercially, but produce large amounts of lactic acid along with dextrans.

"The advantage of this new strain of bacteria is that while it produces 10 times more dextran than products on the market now, it doesn't produce large amounts of acid," Tenkanen said. "Because of this feature, and because the added amount of natural dextran could actually improve the flavor, this could be used in place of additives for a broad variety of breads."

She also said the new dextrans may act as so-called "prebiotics," non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth or activity of bacteria in the digestive system which are beneficial to health.

Tenkanen explained that in the past bread-making involved a long using bacteria and/or yeasts that gave bread a pleasant aroma and taste. But the automated bread-making processes adopted by companies are not compatible with the long fermentation processes, something requiring addition of food additives. "Now, with consumers preferring healthier, additive-free foods we believe our bacteria may lead to a variety of more healthful breads."

The could be marketed to home and commercial bakers as a sourdough starter, or enhancer for other types of bread.

Explore further: Mycobacteria metabolism discovery may pave way for new tuberculosis drugs

Related Stories

Genomic comparison of lactic acid bacteria published

Oct 17, 2006

With public concerns at a fevered pitch over the bacterial contamination of spinach, it is easy to lose track of how bland and deprived our world would be without the contribution to our food supply of such benign microbial ...

Food For Life spelt bread is recalled

Mar 19, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the voluntary recall of Food For Life brand spelt grain bread due to a labeling error.

Prebiotic potential of almonds

Jun 27, 2008

Almonds, as well as being high in vitamin E and other minerals, are also thought to have other health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol. Recently published work by the Institute of Food Research has identified potential ...

Prebiotic potential of almonds

Jun 27, 2008

Almonds, as well as being high in vitamin E and other minerals, are also thought to have other health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol. Recently published work by the Institute of Food Research has ...

Scientists discover technique to help 'friendly bacteria'

Sep 21, 2007

There is currently a great deal of interest in the health-associated properties of probiotics, also known as ‘beneficial’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria, and prebiotics, the food needed for the growth of probiotic when inside ...

Recommended for you

Report on viruses looks beyond disease

2 hours ago

In contrast to their negative reputation as disease causing agents, some viruses can perform crucial biological and evolutionary functions that help to shape the world we live in today, according to a new report by the American ...

A molecule's transformation filmed at high resolution

Jul 21, 2014

François Légaré's team at the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre successfully imaged a chemical reaction with a spatial and temporal resolution greatly exceeding that obtained to date using microscopes. ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

danielz
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
I don't know if it's a good news. Another fake taste...

Daniel.
www.scrabblecheat.org