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Bread: a cocktail of benefits and a vast array of aromas

From a scientific point of view, bread perfectly combines a large number of components beneficial for the consumer. From a taste angle, sourdoughs and yeasts make it possible to develop a diverse array of aromas.

Bread is rich in minerals, such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and zinc. It helps cater to part of our vitamin requirements, especially the Group B vitamins. For a man with an intake of at least 174 g of any type of bread per day, it supplies 16% of the recommended intake of B1 vitamins, 14% of B6 vitamins and 10% of B2 vitamins. For a woman with an intake of more than 110 g, it provides 14% of her daily needs in B1 vitamins, 12% of B6 vitamins and 7% of B2 vitamins.

Bread holds an equal place with other foods at the dinner table

Given that bread has virtually no simple carbohydrates and a very low lipid content (1%), it is considered a priority foodstuff. It contributes to the energy and nutritional intakes recommended for the rhythms of our modern lifestyle. It is even recognised to have a stabilising influence on weight due to its high satiating properties, while increasing the feeling of being full.

Bread is also a rather sophisticated food in its own right. As a food based on yeast or sourdough, or both, it is no longer viewed as a sponge for soaking up sauce. Nor is it simply a utensil for other foods. It is a taste discovery aid!

Lesaffre – the knowledgeable baker’s partner

Let us take the example of sourdough. What are our expectations? From the moment it is created, we want it to provide us with all that helps to ensure an optimal combination of aromas from a selection of worthwhile yeast strains. However, this methodical research method is no longer apparent in today’s bakeries. Lengthy preparation processes are not really in tune with the modern urban consumer’s requirements. Bakers must therefore try to work on fermentative activity in order to obtain more speed, performance and consistency.

For this reason, companies like Lesaffre decided to take up the challenge. Science and years of study have gone patiently into the making of a product such as sourdough. The respect for tradition, expressed at an industrial scale, is now expressed in an extended range of technical solutions: for example in ready-to-use sourdough starters, which dispense with the need to refresh a spontaneous starter developed using traditional methods. Or even in ready-to-use sourdoughs, which lead to the production of directly useable products that dispense with the need for a sourdough preparation phase.

Yeasts and sourdoughs reveal some of life’s mysteries

Yeast also plays an essential role in regulating the fermentative and aromatic activity of bread. A fungal micro-organism measuring just 6 microns, invisible to the naked eye, yeast, like sourdough, symbolises a living culture. Whether it’s in liquid form, compressed, crumbled, dehydrated, frozen, yeast is the ferment that lends structure to dough, offering the consumer more flavour, more pleasure and better health.

Producing yeasts or sourdoughs is no mean task. Lesaffre sells all these ranges of solutions in order to cater more closely to market needs. For 160 years, the group has been striving to select the finest strains and organise the best processes. But as the researchers at Lesaffre will be the first to modestly acknowledge: “We’ve only just begun to discover the intricacies of yeast or sourdough, or even bacteria metabolisms! But we consider it our duty to make the most complicated techniques available to the greatest number.”

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