The Future of Bread Lies In Its Past
Consumer understanding research over the last few years has indicated that consumers around the world want good, tasteful, high-quality breads. In order to meet these needs, Puratos decided to develop the Best Bread for the Future. However, this was not an easy task since every individual has a different understanding of what the Best Bread of the Future characteristics are.
As a result, our executive board, joined by futurist Anne-Marie Dahl, conducted a consumer study and came to this astonishing conclusion: The Future of Bread Lies in its Past!
Why this conclusion?
When we asked consumers to describe their favorite breads, they continuously referred to bread from the good ol’ days, when grandma pulled it fresh out of the oven and onto the kitchen table.
Unfortunately, there was no consensus about what this bread looked like!
For that reason, we contacted ethnologists to help us define what bread of the good ol’ days looked like, going back in time thousands of years through the history of bread…. 50 years…200 years…1000 years….2000 years! But they could not go back any further than the book of Satires.
Written in year 37 BC by Horace, the book of Satires alluded to the best bread being Altamura bread from the Puglia region of Italy. When we went to Altamura and consulted University of Bari Professor and Bread expert, Marco Gobetti, he informed us that throughout history bread was primarily made with four key ingredients: water, flour, salt and sourdough…. no yeast! In fact, yeast was not discovered until 1857 by Louis Pasteur, so sourdough was most often used, providing fantastic flavor, great texture and a longer time of freshness.
What does this mean for the future of bread?
It’s a fact that Horace did not taste the numerous breads of Mexico, Russia, Iran, France and more, but his claim about Altamura bread has revealed that sourdough breads were a result of local fermentation of local micro-organisms and local climate.
In the case of Altamura, up to 400 microorganisms could have possibly been responsible for this great fermentation and thus, the profile of this bread. Therefore, Puratos collected these micro-organisms, tested them in breads, had them evaluated by consumers through our sensory analysis research and as a result, 40 micro-organisms compatible with today’s taste preferences were retained. It is on the base of this work that O-tentic was created, and the Sourdough Library was developed.
We are convinced that The Future of Bread Lies In Its Past, and with this, we will help our customers create tasteful and high-quality breads that remind consumers of the good ol’ days.