EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday March 21, 2010, 5 p.m. Eastern Time
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.
In the study, Maija Tenkanen, Ph.D., and colleagues reported discovery and use of a new strain of bacteria that convert the sugars in bread 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.”