European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Development of an innovative and resource-efficient starter culture for the baking industry to enhance flavour diversity

Project description

The first alternative to commercial baker’s yeast

Bread is a staple food. Besides sourdough, all wheat bread in Europe is prepared, without exception, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as leavening agent, leading to a market volume of EUR 3.8 billion concentrated on a single yeast species, even though innumerable yeast species are commercially available. In this context, a German company has developed an organic, bio certified leavening agent based on Torulaspora delbrueckii. The EU-funded Vinarom project will bring to market this high-performing and reliable yeast blend – the first alternative to commercial baker’s yeast. Specifically, it will develop a toolbox assembly methodology that will pave the way for bakeries to develop and cultivate new yeast blends that resurrect flavour diversity in country-specific, characteristic bread types.


The European bakery industry is a stable, high-volume market with ca. 1,000 industrial bakeries in Europe and thousands of artisan bakeries (e.g. 13,700 in Germany) supplying consumers with roughly 39 million tons of bread yearly. Nearly every European bakery had its own designated yeast strain cultivated in the beginning of the 19th century resulting in a broad variety of aroma and taste. Today, besides sourdough all wheat bread is prepared without exception with S. cerevisiae as leavening agent leading to a market volume of €3.8 billion concentrated on a single yeast species. While the wine and beer industry take advantage of the innumerable yeast species commercially available, the baking sector is still sleeping on the opportunity to re-evaluate our most consumed food with variety. As a solution, our company OPTIFERM has successfully developed Vinarom®, an organic, bio-certified leavening agent based on Torulaspora delbrueckii. Vinarom® as high performing and reliable yeast blend, is cultivated with side-streams of the food industry enabling us to be independent of the price fluctuations of the conventional substrate molasses. Our in-house developed toolbox for the precise assembly and cultivation of yeast blends will introduce region specific Vinarom® varieties resurrecting past flavour sensations in bread and promote lost taste diversity. Vinarom® will generate high revenues in the targeted markets of bio-certified, organic bakeries with a targeted market share of 7% within 7 years after the end of the project. This ambitious target is reachable by forming a European network of regional producers and customers, using suitable models of Joint Ventures and/or licensing agreements. The production costs have been estimated with 1.20 €/ kg in the first three years and with rising production the costs will be reduced to ca 0.92 €/kg. The sales price will be in the range of 1.60 €/kg (ca. 40 profit range). 10% of the annual turnover will be reinvested in our R&D.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

See on map


The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Bayern Schwaben Oberallgäu
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00