The Real Bread Campaign is calling for a legal definition of the word ‘sourdough’ as part of an Honest Crust Tax. 

It claimed consumers are being “taken advantage of” by suppliers selling sourdough packet bread mixes that can contain up to 22 ingredients and artificial additives.

The Real Bread Campaign, which conducted the research, is calling on consumers to “say no to #sourfaux”.

It said the only ingredients strictly necessary to make a “genuine” sourdough are flour, salt and water. Unnecessary ingredients used in packs tested during the research included unspecified added flavouring, mono and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides of fatty acids and added yeast.

Chris Young, Real Bread Campaign coordinator, said: “Britain’s shoppers deserve better than to be sold the promise of a shortcut that turns out to be an expensive way of making an additive-laden loaf without the benefits genuine sourdough offers. Surely it says something when a manufacturer feels the need to add flavouring.”

According to The Real Bread Campaign, sourdough should not contain:

  • commercial yeast
  • dried sourdough powder
  • sourdough concentrate
  •  yoghurt, vinegar, or other non-sourdough acidifier
  • flavourings, preservatives, processing aids and other artificial additives

The Campaign wrote to the three unnamed companies looked at in this research asking them to rename or withdraw their products. All three declined.