Bakery ingredients firm Puratos is to construct a new sourdough plant in the US, designed to address increasing demand for its ready to use fermented sourdough line, which has until now been produced exclusively in Europe.
The New Jersey facility, which is expected to be completed by March 2007, will produce three of the company's four liquid products in its Sapore sourdough line.
According to Puratos, moving production to the US is unlikely to affect the products' prices for the time being, as the firm will need to focus on reimbursing the investment.
The Belgian company first introduced its Sapore line into the US in 2001, although the products have been sold in the European market for around a decade. The ingredients are designed to allow bread manufacturers to save on time and costs when producing sourdough products.
With a distinct aroma and flavor, sourdoughs are traditionally produced through a lengthy fermentation process, which has become incompatible with the fast pace of commercial bread production.
Puratos claims its line of pre-fermented sourdough products allows manufacturers to achieve the same result by directly adding the ingredient to bread dough, thereby cutting time and costs, and assuring a consistent quality and an ability to adapt easily to volume fluctuations.
Manufactured by mixing wheat or rye flour with water and a selected starter culture, the natural sourdoughs are available in powder or liquid form and can be used in a variety of processes, including direct dough, long fermentation and frozen processes.
Each product in the line uses a different starter culture, or lactobacilli microoganisms that produce the lactic acid responsible for giving each sourdough its distinctive flavor. This allows for the use of different lactobacilli strains to attain flavors specific to a region. For example, the L. sanfranciscensis, which is found only in California, is used to produce the characteristically aggressive sour taste that has made San Francisco sourdough bread famous.
The final product is available in four forms: powder, toasted powder, pasteurized liquid and active liquid, which can be used in applications including rye or wheat breads, sweet breads, pastries and snacks.
Puratos, which has currently seen more success from its liquid products than its powdered products, said it hopes the construction of the new facility will allow it to more than double its US sales of the line by 2009.