The world needs safe places to store its precious things
Whenever you hear someone talking about keeping something valuable in a safe place, you tend to assume they are talking about one of those traditional financial institutions you see on your local high street, but Puratos, like a few other organisations, has something else in mind.
The world's sourdoughs
The Puratos Sourdough Library in Sankt Vith exists to store and safeguard the world’s oldest, and unique sourdough cultures. More than hundred bakers from all over the world had accepted to send a sample of their sourdough culture to the Puratos library for safekeeping. Sourdoughs are fragile and can occasionally be lost or damaged leaving the world a little poorer than before. The bakers recognise this too and are delighted to have someone take care of a portion of their live sourdough culture elsewhere than at their bakery. After all, their unique sourdough is not just part of the taste heritage of the world but directly linked to their livelihood as well.
Every new arrival to the library is checked and analysed for microorganisms in the laboratory of Professor Marco Gobbetti from the University of Bolzano and Bari or other universities in Spain, France,...and to date, more than 800 strains of wild yeast and lactic bacteria have been isolated and recorded. These microorganisms are then stored in a freezer at -80°C/-112°F so as to preserve the biodiversity for the future.
The actual sourdoughs themselves are kept in optimal condition in refrigerators at 4°C/39°F and refreshed every two months with the original flour with which it was made, thereby replicating conditions in the original bakery.