Bakery giant SPC Group, the operator of the Paris Baguette chain, announced on Apr. 19 that the company and Seoul National University have discovered a native yeast that can be used in baking and producing leavened bread, and succeeded in the commercialization for the first time in Korea.
The group has been conducting studies on indigenous yeasts for bread-making and new products at the SPC Research Institute of Food and Bio Technology, which was opened in 2005. The new yeast is named SPC-SNU 70-1 after SPC Group and Seoul National University.
The yeast is the outcome of 11 years of joint research between SPC Group and Seoul National University’s agricultural biotechnology department. An official said that researchers gathered samples of traditional microorganisms at pristine areas in Cheongpung Lake in North Chungchong Province, Mount Jiri in South Gyeongsang and Mount Seorak in Gangwon, and even visited 5-day markets in each province to get Korean traditional food sources, such as honey, kimchi and nuruk, a leavening agent used in making liquor.
In particular, the find is a major milestone for both the bakery industry and academia, since they found the appropriate microorganism extracted from Korean traditional nuruk to make bread, which is Western food.
SPC Group registered a patent for the SPC-SNU 70-1 in Korea and completed international patent applications. Currently, the registration procedure is underway in France, the United States, China and Japan.
As the group has also succeeded in developing new products using the SPC-SNU 70-1, it has released 27 bread products with the native yeast. SPC is planning to gradually expand product lineups and use the yeast in other affiliates, including bread manufacturer Samlip, in the future. With the steady investment in R&D, the group seeks to jump into a “great food company” with the competitiveness of the world’s best quality, according to SPC.