Defined co-cultures of yeast and bacteria modify the aroma, crumb and sensory properties of bread


Aims: Yeast and bacterial communities inhabit a sourdough starter to make artisanal bread. This study shows whether the interactions of micro-organisms derived from Australian sourdough starters provide some of the positive flavour, and aroma properties to bread by using defined sourdough cultures as the sole leaven in bread production. Methods and Results: An investigation of Australian sourdough starters found that they contained Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kazachstania exigua yeasts. When these yeasts were inoculated alone to ferment wheat flour in an extended fermentation, the bread had a heterogeneous crumb structure, a deeper colour and a distinctive chemical aroma profile than those made with commercial baker’s yeast. When bread was made combining these yeasts individually and in combinations with lactic acid bacteria also isolated from these sourdough starters, including Lactobacillus plantarum, L. brevis, L. rossiae, L. casei, the bread aroma profiles and crumb structure were more distinctive, with compounds associated with sour aromas produced, and preferred by sensory panels. Conclusions: The use of defined mixed cultures as the leaven in bread making, by exploiting the microbial diversity of artisanal Australian starters, can produce bread with distinctive and attractive aromas. Significance and Impact of the Study: Understanding and identifying the community ecosystems found in sourdough cultures and using them as the sole leaven in bread production provide novel insights into microbial interactions and how they affect food quality by removing the effects of commercial yeast strains.

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Microbiology