Researchers analyzed strains of mold fermented in sourdough bread and were able to isolate natural compounds that can help keep bread fresh without changing its flavor, resulting in a tastier loaf.
Michael Ganzle, professor and Canada Research Chair in the University of Alberta Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science and fellow researchers say the natural compounds can replace preservatives added to store-bought bread which are safe to eat and extend shelf life, but alter the taste.
They say their research is the first to link the compounds—hydroxy fatty acids— to antifungal activity and to show that these compounds are formed in the production of fermented foods. "We were able to put known compounds into quite a new and exciting context," Gaenzle said.
The findings also have the potential to replace or complement fungicides used in treating crop seeds such as barley, wheat and canola, and in protecting crops.