Faced with the immensity of the potential of microorganisms, we wish to share with our readers the pioneering spirit that drives us. Together, let’s go further! Articles, interviews, videos and summaries: each content is based on the expertise of a contributor or guest expert who shares his or her knowledge, convictions on microorganisms, yeasts, fermentation, health and well-being and intuitions about trends, naturalness, new habits and uses of tomorrow…
Sourdough is created in the amazing symbiotic relationship between lactic acid bacteria and yeast present on grain husks and in the “baking” environment. Used for over 8,000 years, this ferment was replaced at the beginning of the 20th century by yeast, which is easier to use. It is now returning to its former glory due to growing interest in more authentic and flavoursome foods.
Present in all biotopes1, bacteria made a very early appearance on Earth. However, their study started only in the 19th century, with the appearance of the microscope. Useful in many ways for human beings, bacteria have numerous industrial applications.
Let’s take stock with Hassina Ait-Abderrahim, director of the Lesaffre bacteria research and development platform.
Discovered by Dutch brewers, then brought to light by Louis Pasteur, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast continues to reveal new potential, whether for bread-making, the manufacture of fermented drinks, or in the nutrition and health sector. Lesaffre acquired its reputation through building its expertise in this yeast strain. And this microorganism is far from having shown us all the myriad ways in which it can help humans and the environment. As Gilles Stien, R&D fermentation manager and project leader at Lesaffre, can confirm.
Key factors for fermentation, yeasts also possess other nutritional bonuses and properties worthy of interest for human health. Professor Pierre Desreumaux, gastroenterologist at the Claude Huriez Regional Hospital in Lille, provides an overview of their therapeutic effects.
To relish, to indulge, to savor, to taste… There are so many ways to express the pleasure that can be experienced when the aromatic notes of food touch our taste buds’ chemoreceptors. Flavors that can also be provided by yeast extracts, if the selection, fermentation and yeast autolysis are well controlled. Let’s find out more with Rudy Menin, Research and Development manager, yeast extracts and derivative products, at Lesaffre.
Today, consumers are in search of healthier, more meaningful food. An aim that incorporates organic, local, “additive-free” and “natural”, and that requires increased transparency from businesses, especially in the agri-food sector.
“If naturalness is so on trend, it is because it presents as the best way to guarantee healthy, harmless, and good food,” according to the organizers of the international trade show for organic products, Natexpo. “Natural generates positive thoughts arising from the symbolism of health and taste,” adds Pierrick Gomez, consumer behavior expert at the Reims Management School. “Therefore, there is a shortcut between natural and other benefits, which means that generally natural products are preferred to artificial products.”
Recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques now make it possible to have access to the entire genomes of yeasts in just a few days, and with the help of bioinformatics, to decipher their genetic heritage and reveal their singularity. Renaud Toussaint, manager of the Lesaffre microbiology section within the Research & Development department, shares with us the scientific evolutions that have enabled us to improve the performance of yeasts.