From a microbiological perspective, sourdough is to be considered as a specific and stressful ecosystem, harboring yeasts and lactic acid bacteria (LAB), that is used for the production of baked goods. With respect to the metabolic impact of the sourdough microbiota, acidification (LAB), flavor formation (LAB and yeasts), and leavening (yeasts and heterofermentative LAB species) are most noticeable. Three distinct types of sourdough fermentation processes can be discerned based on the inocula applied, namely backslopped ones (type 1), those initiated with starter cultures (type 2), and those initiated with a starter culture followed by backslopping (type 3). A sourdough-characteristic LAB species is Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. A sourdough-characteristic yeast species is Candida humilis. Although it has been suggested that the microbiota of a specific sourdough may be influenced by its geographical origin, region specificity often seems to be an artefact resulting from interpretation of the research data, as those are dependent on sampling, isolation, and identification procedures. It is however clear that sourdough-adapted microorganisms are able to withstand stress conditions encountered during their growth. Based on the technological setup, type 0 (predoughs), type I (artisan bakery firm sourdoughs), type II (industrial liquid sourdoughs), and type III sourdoughs (industrial dried sourdoughs) can be distinguished. The production of all sourdoughs, independent of their classification, depends on several intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Both the flour (type, quality status, etc.) and the process parameters (fermentation temperature, pH and pH evolution, dough yield, water activity, oxygen tension, backslopping procedure and fermentation duration, etc.) determine the dynamics and outcome of (backslopped) sourdough fermentation processes.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)49-160
Aantal pagina's112
TijdschriftAdvances in Applied Microbiology
StatusPublished - 1 jan 2017


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