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#48167 02/28/13 01:20 AM
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Scientists have discovered that bacteria in sourdough starter produce anti-fungal compounds to help keep bread fresh longer.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcas...old-ki-13-02-27

Will your supermarket bread soon be made from sourdough?


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Quote:
Will your supermarket bread soon be made from sourdough?


Probably not, because there will always be more financial interest in producing and using artificial preservatives.

Of course, we could all apply consumer pressure by demanding sourdough bread, but that would push up the relative price so that less people would be able to afford to buy it.


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Originally Posted By: Amaranth Rose II
Scientists have discovered that bacteria in sourdough starter produce anti-fungal compounds to help keep bread fresh longer.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcas...old-ki-13-02-27

Will your supermarket bread soon be made from sourdough?


Sour dough has always been my fave loaf. There are two grocery stores in the town I live in that have absolutely stellar sourdough. I often make special trips to those stores just for the bread.

With sourdough though, there is never a worry of it going bad around my house. It rarely lasts a day even.

I think everyone should have a sourdough starter in the fridge, well fed and ready to go. Never know when you'll need an emergency boule for some spinach dip.


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Sourdough bread is everywhere here in Oz. Many restaurants serve it exclusively, especially with 'hearty' soups and for posh sandwiches! I know because I really, really hate it! I prefer a nice fluffy French-type bread loaf any day!

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I guess sourdough is a sort of polar situation, either you love it or you hate it. When I was a kid in high school, I baked bread for my mother and me. I kept a sourdough starter going, and we had bread, pancakes, and all sorts of rolls and pretzels, and even a cake or two with that sourdough starter. Then we moved, and I sort of lost interest in it. It's been many years since I've had a sourdough starter. It's just me now, and I don't eat enough bread to keep one going. More's the pity. Now I bake bread in the bread maker, and I'm working on getting a recipe that rises every time. It's harder than I thought. But even the failures are edible, for the most part. I did end up throwing away one that never rose a bit, but most of them do rise some. It's all a matter of getting the right moisture to flour ratio, and that changes when you use whole wheat or rye flour. I keep experimenting, one of these days I'll come up with the right ratio. But I will admit, I enjoy a nice fluffy French bread too. I have to travel about 100 miles each way to get good French bread. So it's a rare commodity here. There are some disadvantages to living in rural America, and the lack of good French bread is one of them. I have to make my own pita too. Don't get that on the menu too often, as a result.


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Probably not, because there will always be more financial interest in producing and using artificial preservatives.

The interest will always be in the most profit. If this could be harnessed in a way which was less costly than preservatives, then it would become common. Sourdough is less-profitable, because it is slow and people are willing (don't ask me why) to eat bland-tasting bread.

But I want to nit-pick at your use of the term 'artificial'; what makes it 'artificial'? Its atoms are no different that the ones in you and I. The preservative effect observed in sourdough has been found to be due to one specific molecule. If we synthesized it, would it now be artificial? How about if we purified it from bacterial culture, then added it to the bread?

You're engaged in what is called a 'naturalistic fallacy' - the idea that what is natural is good/better/healthy, while that which is 'artificial' is evil/worse/unhealthy. Small pox is natural - the small pox vaccine is artificial. I know which one I prefer...

Bryan


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Bryan, the point you make about artificial not necessarily being bad is absolutely right, but a little misplaced in this instance, as my post contained no such judgement. I was simply asserting my belief that the products of industry tend to confer larger and more easily regulated profits.

Quote:
Small pox is natural - the small pox vaccine is artificial.


Agreed, but small pox + vaccine = bigger profits for (eg) drug companies than would small pox alone.

No judgement, just economics.


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.

Agreed, but small pox + vaccine = bigger profits for (eg) drug companies than would small pox alone.

Actually, vaccines are very low profit; hence why most drug companies no longer make them (I think we're down to 3 companies who still manufacture vax). No company develops vaccines any more - they simply licence those invented by immunologists such as myself (myself, as in I do immunological research; I'm not directly involved in vaxdev).

At the end of the day, for a vax to be adopted it needs to be cheap per-dose, and provide a meaningful degree and duration of protection. Ergo, it is far more profitable to treat an infection than it is to vaccinate against one.

For example, the pertussis vaccine costs about $15. A non-hospital treatment course of antibiotics runs ~$500; a case requiring hospitalization runs tens of thousands of dollars in drugs, consumables and one-use supportive. Without vaccination, most children will experience a pertussis infection before the age of 5, of which about 4% will require hospitalization. The numbers write themselves - even ignoring economic costs - the savings are huge.

Bryan


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