Poll: When should a bread be described as sourdough?

We want YOU to tell us where you stand on the controversial issue of sourdough labelling and marketing.

The submission of proposals for a code of practice on the labelling and marketing of sourdough bread and rolls has sparked debate in the industry.

The UK Baking Industry Code of Practice for the Labelling of Sourdough Bread & Rolls contains three definitions (detailed here):

  • Sourdough (product name): a product in which live/active sourdough is used as the principal leavening agent; which may be made with the addition of a maximum of 0.2% compressed bakers’ yeast, or the equivalent level of cream or dried yeast, as calculated on the total flour weight of the final dough.
  • (Product name) with sourdough: a product made with live/active sourdough, and/or inactive/deactivated/devitalised sourdough, where commercial baker’s yeast has been used as the principal leavening agent in the final dough and which may also contain permitted additives.
  • Sourdough flavoured (product name): a product made with live and/or inactive sourdough, in which additives or flavourings that impart sourdough-type acidity, flavour or aroma to the finished product have also been used (e.g. acids or their salts); and which contains baker’s yeast and other permitted additives.

The plans, which have been drawn up by five trade bodies* have come under fire from the Real Bread Campaign, which said, in its current form, the code would allow producers to ‘hijack’ the word sourdough.

The campaign stated that use of additives or baker’s yeast would mean the loaf would not be a “genuine sourdough bread”.

Where do YOU stand on the labelling question?

Should additives be allowed in products labelled as ‘sourdough’ to enable modern production techniques? Or should only a loaf produced to traditional methods carry the name ‘sourdough’?

Please respond to our poll:

* The Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM), The British Sandwich and Food To Go Association, Craft Bakers’ Association, the Federation of Bakers, and PAPA (Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association).

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