This is our core technology – the trick to everything. And, though you’d never know it to look at how contemporary ‘Big Food’ makes its profits, it’s just as ancient as it is modern.
In some ancient languages, the science of fermentation shared a name with Alchemy. These days it is known as Zymology, but the link persists – the combining of certain basic elements to create a new substance of miraculously higher value. In our case, that value is nothing short of one answer to a rampaging public health crisis.
Fermented foods work with our gut biome – the millions of bacteria inside all of us – to aid efficiency. The only downside, if downside it is, is that there’s no short-cut. Proper sourdough takes 48 hours before it’s ready to do the good it’s there to do.
You can achieve the appearance and taste of sourdough by adding commercial yeast, emulsifiers and preservatives- but it carries hardly any of the nutritional benefits. A better name for this mass-produced version is ‘sour-faux.’ Like so many things on the ‘healthy’ bandwagon, it’s a false friend.
There’s no getting around it: fast carbs are bad carbs, and they’re the problem.
THE ‘MODEL GUT’
In 2017, Modern Baker was awarded funding of £763,000 to lead a research project into bread and nutrition.
The grant came from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency backed by the government to investigate (among other things) workable ways to improve the nation’s health. Also involved are food research technology agency Campden BRI.
We’re working with the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University and their ‘model gut’ system to get to the truth about what makes humans work properly.
Unsurprisingly, we’re using long-fermented sourdough – first to prove the point about gut health, then to work out how to produce this effect on a mass-market scale.
The academic results will be published in 2019 – but we won’t let them stay there.
We’re on a mission, and science is our fuel.