A new natural sourdough production unit in Belgium costing €21m will boost volume and help meet the hike in demand from bakers for the bread ingredient, claims Puratos.
The Belgian headquarter manufacturer of raw materials for the bakery and confectionery industries said the new facility is an extension of its bio-fermentation centre at its Andenne site near Namur in Belgium.
Daniel Malcorps, chief executive of Puratos, told BakeryandSnacks.com that the trigger for the new dedicated production line was the fact that the group was “running short on capacity” for natural sourdoughs due to their global success, and for its O-tentic product in particular.
“O-tentic has been a considerable growth driver for Puratos, but existing infrastructure could not respond effectively to the escalation in demand and this investment at Andenne was required to ensure our yield matched market requirements,” he said.
Malcorps added that the unit had been two years in development and will complement the group’s other sourdough factories in Saint-Vith, near the German border in Belgium, and in Cherry Hill, near Philadelphia in the US, with the global bakery industry the target of the liquid or powder forms of natural sourdoughs.
Moreover, he claims, the vertical integration of this sourdough line with the existing research laboratories, enzyme and yeast production units and fermentation expertise at Andenne will be an innovation enabler and could extend applications for the ingredients.
Malcorps said that natural sourdoughs, along with providing rich flavours to breads, can also aid reformulation targeted on achieving a reduction in salt levels through their taste enhancement functionality.
Puratos maintains that the objective of its sourdough production facilities is to accurately reproduce, on an industrial scale, the traditional baker’s methods of preparing sourdough cultures.
The group claims its process of isolating and preserving strains of microorganisms and incorporating them into the starter doughs ensures uniformity of flavour in a natural sourdough.
According to Puratos, liquid leaven is dried on drums at the Andenne facility at temperatures of up to 150°C and above. It flows over the drum and forms a fine film scraped off with knives, which is then ground to obtain its final powder form. The drying process caramelises the sugars in the flour and gives the leaven a toasted flavour.
“A baker can create unique flavours by adding these natural sourdoughs to his dough and thus benefit from expertise founded on years of research,” states the supplier.