30 Sep Consumers’ perception of authentic bread
Industrial bakeries are increasingly producing sourdough bread in response to a call for healthier foods. A longer fermentation process of approximately 24 hours has been shown to be beneficial in this. Additionally a long dough resting time makes the use of additives unnecessary, which is not the case in shorter resting times.
Customers are generally unaware of the effect of these resting times on the healthiness and authenticity of the bread . Under the guidance of Prof. Caroline Goukens (Maastricht University), Anna van der Scheer made a study of this, together with the effects on buying behaviour.
Using a random approach, it was concluded that respondents did not perceive a bread product with a longer resting period to be more authentic than that with a shorter period or with no mention of a rest time at all. Interestingly, though, bread with a rest period was perceived to be healthier than bread without. Finally an understanding of the rest period did not lead to a willingness to pay more for the product. So in the future more information and education will be crucial to highlight the benefits of a longer fermentation process.