The Sourdough Project RESULTS!

sourdough bread

Yeast or Bacteria ?

Our little bakery might not be able to travel, but BeNanna Bakery’s sourdough starter (let’s call him Benny) has traveled to another country! We worried about how our little Benny would feel, mingling with other cultures from all over the globe, but he settled in quickly and got to work on a very important project.

Let’s get serious! Not only do we ship our bread via Canada Post – right to your door – but, recently, BeNanna Bakery participated in a global project that examines sourdough samples from around the world! The project is to identify microbes and yeast strains within each sample.

We submitted our mother sourdough to Rob Dunn and The Sourdough Project Research Team. They are working on trying to figure out why one sourdough starter is different than another, and how it might affect the finished product.

The Yeast Results are IN!

and it’s fanatstic!

From YourWildLife.Org: “Of the 568 sourdough samples our participants sent us we have completed the first of many stages of identification of the life therein. Most sourdough starters contain both bacteria and fungi. The fungi produce carbon dioxide, the bacteria the acid (usually, we actually think that some of the fungi in sourdoughs are producing acid too). We haven’t identified the fungi yet. Soon though.

How ?

As for the bacteria, when we first looked at the results, we were in for several surprises. Though it took some steps to get there. In our analyses the first data we see are in the form of a file that contains the individual decoded DNA of the organisms present in the sourdough. Not the entirety of their DNA, but instead one gene that happens to be particularly good at telling us about the bacteria. Think of that gene as the title of the bacteria’s book. You can’t judge a book by its cover or title but it is a good place to start. We carry out this step using algorithms.


There are too many individual decoded pieces of DNA for us to read  and organize on our own. We use the computer algorithms (or rather, Angela Oliverio did) to sort the bacteria into something akin to species (what microbiologists call “OTUs,” or operational taxonomic units. Way to go microbiologists in making something marvelous, the names of life forms, boring. Just to make discussion a little easier I’ll refer to the OTUs as species from here on out but know that they are a little bit different from species). Once the computer algorithm lumps all of the different decoded sequences into their species (akin to stacking books with the same name together), we get a sense both of how many kinds of bacteria we found and in which samples we found them.

The Answer

The answer? How many kinds of bacteria are in sourdough? Probably you want to know.”

You can follow the wild life of the sourdough starters on the Sourdough Project Facebook Page (if you’re interested – which we are of course!).

Our sourdough starter was compared with samples from all over the world! Talk about a jet-setter!

You can see on this world map that the Sourdough Project really was on a global scale.

BeNanna Bakery’s yeast sample results:

    • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (strain 1) 94.84%
    • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (strain 2) 5.09%
    • Wickerhamomyces anomalus (strain 1) 0.04%
    • Wickerhamomyces anomalus (strain 2) 0.02%
    • Naumovozyma castellii 0.01%
    • Saccharomyces cariocanus 0.01%

We put Chilliwack on the map! The sourdough map that is!

sourdough map

map canada

If you want to learn more about WHY BeNanna Bakery Sourdough Bread is SO much better for you than store-bought bread, read THIS.

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