LESAFFRE BULGARIA: THE MAGIC AND SCIENCE OF GOOD BREAD
So many of us love bread, but are often scared of its effect on our health. Lesaffre, a family owned corporation with more than 160 years of experience in yeast and additives production and a global presence, helps us to have it both: great bread that is good for the health. Veneta Pissarska, Managing Director of Lesaffre Bulgaria, explains how the company succeeds in helping us to build a tastier, healthier life and future.
What is the secret of good bread according to Lesaffre?
The main ingredients are three: love, artisanship and quality raw materials. It is easy to make good bread, as it is a natural product. For millennia, people have ate bread made of different flours according to what grains are specific for the particular climate and soil. The time for fermentation is a crucial element in this. The longer we let dough to raise at the right temperature, the richer the taste of our bread will be. However, the kneading and the artisanship are also important. Quality raw materials for their part are a prerequisite for healthy bread.
Contemporary people are very interested in healthy eating. How Lesaffre helps us to find the balance between good, tasty bread and healthy eating?
For millennia, bread was the common and all accepted synonym of food, a religious symbol throughout the ages and a staple food in a large part of the world.
Lesaffre, with its over 160 years of history and presence all over the world, helps for the exchange of information, recipes and baking techniques, and with its high quality standards distributes tried and tested quality raw materials and ingredients.
In the modern world, the question for healthy eating engages a growing number of people and everyone wants to know what do they eat. Quality bread, bread that was made with love, is healthy and nurturing. It is a source of energy and power. Lesaffre has a well developed range of fermentation products (yeast, sourdough, starter strains, and ready starters), ready solutions and recipes with which it satisfies all tastes and guarantees quality.
Dry or fresh yeast – what are the advantages of each of them?
The choice is connected to the traditions and rites of a given region or the translation of recipes and kneading techniques. Fresh, or live yeast, as it is called in some regions, is a traditional baking product in Bulgaria. In regions with lack of conditions for proper storage, like Africa, dried products are preferred. Lesaffre doesn't distinguish between products made with fresh or dry yeast, the only difference is that dry yeast is additionally dried and specially packaged. The rest is a matter of personal taste of the bread baker or the individual baking at home.
In the recent years, in the dynamics of contemporary world and particularly in big cities, people tend to prefer dry yeast, mainly because of its longer shelf-life. At Lesaffre we have a special drying technology that extracts the water only and preserves the product's characteristics in vacuum environment. In their basis, fresh and dried yeast are the same products. It is good to know that dry yeast is of good quality only when it is bought directly from the manufacturer as there it has been stored in the right conditions. Every additional manipulation and repackaging leads to decrease of the quality of the product.
Is there a difference between yeasts for home use and for industrial produce?
At Lesaffre it is the same product in different packaging. We offer tested professional quality for home use ensuring the client that the bread will raise accordingly.
What is the role of bread improvers and why are they needed?
They improve certain aspects of the end product, like bread with crispy crust or with softer inside, or make dough easier to knead. For us these are mainly natural raw materials and certain enzymes that we add to the flour to improve certain aspects. This is made mainly in industrial environment as a significant part of the flours sold in the stores are already improved by the producer.
What policies does the company develop in Bulgaria supporting R&D scientific work and why did it choose to support this particular field?
In Bulgaria, and all over the world, we support all types of sustainable development policies. For example, all our factories have treatment plants that purify water. We work on programs for waste-free technologies and zero emissions in all parts of the world.
In Bulgaria, together with these programmes, we chose to work with the University for Food Technologies in Plovdiv, the biggest one in the Balkans, to provide access of students and professors to information, knowledge and experience and to enrich their innovative vision, ideas and research. We work in close cooperation with the Department for Biotechnologies and together we organise an annual competition on themes connected to bread yeasts, sourdough, starter strains, ready starters and fermentation processes. The winner gets a diploma and a sum of money, and the aim is to stimulate young minds to create and look for different alternatives with application in industry. This year, the award was given during a scientific conference dedicated to Food Safety, which allowed us to increase the interest of the participants to our activity and to development of bread making.
Innovation, Proximity, Transfer
A global key player in yeasts and fermentation,Lesaffre designs, manufactures and markets innovative solutions for:
- food taste & pleasure
- human, animal & plant care
- industrial biotechnologies
Lesaffre's development has been driven by innovation since the company's foundation in 1853. More than 500 R&D experts actively collaborate with 60 universities and research centers around the world, working towards a shared goal: to create innovative products that have been proven and guaranteed as safe and effective.
Bread yeast is in the core of Lesaffre's success. Lesaffre provides innovative and effective solutions for craft bakers, food industry professionals and industrial bakers, major retailers and specialty stores, restaurants and hotels and individual consumers. Its portfolio includes 3 ingredients families: bread improvers, sourdoughs and mixes, premixes and blends.
Outside of its bakery activity, Lesaffre draws on its expertise in biotechnology and fermentation to accelerate its growth in areas such as human, animal and plant nutrition and health, as well as green chemistry and biofuels.
- €1.9 billion annual turnover
- 1/3 of the world's bread is made with Lesaffre yeast
- Every day, more than one billion people around the world consume food made with the company's products
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