The sourdough library is a non-profit initiative for the bakery world where sourdough is protected and kept. Upon request of the donor, confidentiality is kept.
The sourdough library is the result of a long-term research program coordinated between Puratos and Prof. Marco Gobbetti from the University of Bari – an institution that already collects sourdoughs from around Italy. They are now enlarging this collection to include other countries like France, the USA, China, Spain, Portugal, Australia etc. with the aim of creating a unique collection of sourdoughs from traditional bakeries across the globe, all kept and grown in perfectly regulated conditions. The library is located in Saint-Vith, Belgium.
In the library, they keep both the physical collection of sourdoughs and the associated written documentation – this in order to preserve the biodiversity, as well as keep and study the knowledge linked to fermentation technology. The preservation is done by ‘feeding’ it on a regular base and by keeping it at the right temperature and humidity.
It ensures the survival of the many sourdough strains present throughout the world for years to come; it preserves our sourdough biodiversity; and it serves to disseminate knowledge about sourdough baking.
On top of that, sourdough donors have a guarantee that they have a backup in a secure place in case their original sourdough would accidentally disappear. The only thing a donor has to do is to provide the library once a year a bag of flour (the same as used in their place) to assure the feeding.