What’s your flour type?

Nick Kamkari, Tufts undergraduate, plates out different commercial flours in the Wolfe Lab.

The Wolfe lab has been working to pinpoint just what makes sourdough starters so magical. It turns out that each flour has its own microbial “signature.” Tufts undergraduate Nick Kamkari has been plating out and characterizing different brands of-off-the shelf flours to learn more about what we should expect to find in each starter fed by that flour, to better be able to pinpoint what are the extra (delicious) microbes that make the starters successful. Above is a visual of what he has found so far by plating out different flour types.

It’s not too late to get involved! Find out more on the Sourdough Project Page. 

By |2017-06-26T14:24:29-04:00February 20th, 2017|

About the Author:

Lea Shell
Lea Shell is an entomologist and educator who devotes her time convincing others just how wonderfully important insects and microbes are to our lives. She enjoys playing with slime mold, ants, GPS units, climate loggers and interviewing scientists about their middle school experiences.


  1. Avatar
    jan hilborn February 24, 2017 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I feed my starter King Arthur white whole wheat. I always bake with KA flour but vary the flour to the project. I’ve tried other flours and it’s only KA that gets me reliable very good results.

    I’m very curious what this study shows.

  2. Avatar
    kerry August 24, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Me too.
    Hi I am from Singapore is very hot at 33c and humid here
    I bake a lot od SD
    I am very ecited to see your findings

  3. Avatar
    eric September 23, 2017 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I’ve been interested in how much influence on the final microbe composition of a culture that the flour has versus the “blackslop” that is retained/added to keep the culture going. I’m looking forward to learning more!

  4. Avatar
    kath October 16, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    this is a fascinating project and great to bring modern science to sourdough and the microbiome. I really look forward to seeing what is found out.
    the FODMAP diet recommended now by our NHS for IBS sufferers advises ‘spelt sourdough’ but is unable to define what exactly that needs to be, to do some good. Why and when does some sourdough have low FODMAP and how can we offer IBS victims a really helpful bread which has scientific backing.
    With a better understanding of how to promote the best health aspects of sourdough during the process of fermenting the bread, we could really help some people. SO its not just flavour.

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