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The Quest for Sourdough

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Puratos, an international company located in Belgium that supplies products for bakeries, patisseries, and chocolate manufacturers, also maintains a library of sourdough strains. Similar to a seed library, the Puratos Sourdough Library currently catalogs 1,430 sourdough varieties, which can be browsed via the Quest for Sourdough website. The library accepts two types of submissions from sourdough aficionados: recipes and actual samples of sourdough starter. Samples are analyzed for microorganisms in labs at the Uni Bolzano and Bari in Italy. After analysis, the microorganisms are then stored in a freezer at -80*C/-112*F to preserve their biodiversity for the future, while the sourdoughs are kept in optimal condition in refrigerators at 4*C/39*F. Each sample is refreshed every two months with the flour with which it was originally made. In addition to the scientific side, the website includes a blog with stories and lots of recipes, such as Ione's sourdough waffles (from Alaska) or Sourdough donuts. Belgium is not typically known for its sourdough baked goods and, in fact, consulting the map of location origins of the sourdoughs in the library shows that the majority have been collected from the United States.
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GEM Subject
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2019-01-18
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2019/0118

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