Instant sourdough for making homemade bread


DARWIN develops Masa Mater, an organic powdered sourdough product that allows you to bake bread in just a few hours. With this product, you can make high-quality bread almost instantly, as it does not require the preparation and maintenance of an active sourdough starter over several days, nor does it need industrial or compressed yeast that requires refrigeration.




Baking, one of the main processes in the global food industry, has been carried out for millennia using a consortium mainly composed of yeasts from different genera (Candida, Saccharomyces, Kazachstania, etc.), associated with various lactobacilli. This was the traditional way of making bread until the 19th century when it was replaced by the use of compressed yeast from the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the sole leavening agent. Currently, breads not made with sourdough typically use industrial or compressed yeast.


In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in reviving the use of sourdough with natural yeasts and lactobacilli, which results in better structure and preservation of the bread (production of lactic and acetic acids), enhances its organoleptic properties (aroma and flavor), and improves the digestibility of the dough.




A sourdough starter is a microbial consortium of bacteria and yeasts that grows in a mixture of water and flour, containing 100 times more bacteria than yeast cells. During baking, Maillard reactions occur between amino acids and reducing sugars, giving bread and other baked goods their distinctive toasted flavor.


To ferment it, the sourdough is mixed with more flour, water, and salt. The yeast consumes glucose and produces carbon dioxide (which helps the bread rise) and ethanol (which evaporates during baking). Meanwhile, the bacteria consume glucose and maltose and produce lactic acid and aromatic compounds.


The difference between Masa Mater and conventional sourdough is that it avoids the issues of sourdough storage in the fridge or the long fermentation times. It is a pioneering product with a complex technical development due to the combination of microorganisms in the product.


Completion Year: 2020




Sourdough bread is superior in flavor, has multiple aromas, better preservation over time (it retains moisture better), and improved digestibility as it contains less gluten. The characteristic flavor of sourdough bread comes from the fermentation because it contains a consortium of microorganisms, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts.


Masa Mater, created with lactic acid bacteria and wild yeasts, allows the production of bread with the quality and flavor of traditional sourdough. The process is much simpler and quicker than creating a conventional sourdough starter: you only need to mix it with flour, water, and salt, knead it, let it rest (for the necessary number of hours depending on the type of bread you want to make), and bake it.


This DARWIN project results in the development of a product for direct-to-consumer sales (B2C) through the Amazon platform.