Various cold storage-backslopping cycles show the robustness of Limosilactobacillus fermentum IMDO 130101 as starter culture for Type 3 sourdough production

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Type 3 sourdoughs, which are starter culture-initiated and subsequently backslopped, are less studied than other sourdough types. Yet, they can serve as a model to assess how competitive starter culture strains for sourdough
production are and how the microbial composition of such sourdoughs may evolve over time. In the present study, Limosilactobacillus fermentum IMDO 130101 was used to produce Type 3 sourdoughs, prepared from wheat
and wholemeal wheat flours. Therefore, an initial fermentation of the flour-water mixture was performed at 30 ◦C for 48 h. This was followed by cold storage-backslopping cycles, consisting of refreshments (50 %, v/v), fermentation steps of 16 h, and storage at 4 ◦C each week, every three weeks, and every six weeks. The microbial dynamics (culture-dependent and -independent approaches) and metabolite dynamics were measured. In all sourdoughs produced, starter culture strain monitoring, following an amplicon sequence variant approach, showed that Liml. fermentum IMDO 130101 prevailed during one month when the sourdoughs were refreshed each week, during 24 weeks when the sourdoughs were refreshed every three weeks, and during 12 weeks when the sourdoughs were refreshed every six weeks. This suggested the competitiveness and robustness of Liml. fermentum IMDO 130101 for a considerable duration but also showed that the strain is prone to microbial interference. For instance, Levilactobacillus brevis and Pediococcus spp. prevailed upon further cold storage and backslopping. Also, although no yeasts were inoculated into the flour-water mixtures, Kazachstania unispora, Torulaspora delbrueckii, and Wickerhamomyces anomalus were the main yeast species found. They appeared after several weeks of storage and backslopping, which however indicated the importance of an interplay between LAB and yeast species in sourdoughs. The main differences among the mature sourdoughs obtained could be explained by the different flours used, the refreshment conditions applied, and the sampling time (before and after backslopping). Finally, the metabolite quantifications revealed continued metabolite production duing the cold storage periods, which may impact the sourdough properties and those of the breads made thereof.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110522
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number411
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Research Council of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (SRP7 and IOF3017 projects) and an ICON research project (SourFun, HBC.2019.0104) from the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and the spearhead cluster Flanders' FOOD. The authors would like to thank all partners of the ICON research project for the fruitful scientific discussions. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the technical support of ing. Wim Borremans (chromatography and mass spectrometry) and MSc. Arnold Snijders (sample preparation). IP, VGA, and YRW are the recipients of PhD fellowships from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel [ICON SourFun (HBC.2019.0104), ICON Fibraxfun (HBC.2018.0505), and ICON SourFun (HBC.2019.0104), respectively]. The BCCM/LMG Bacteria Collection is supported by the Federal Public Planning Service - Science Policy, Belgium.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Sourdough
  • Wheat
  • Wholemeal wheat
  • Limosilactobacillus fermentum
  • Microbial stability
  • Competitiveness


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