About Daniel Malcorps
Daniel Malcorps has joined Puratos in 2002, initially as Chief Operations Officer and then, as of 2004, as Chief Executive Officer.
Interview with... Daniel Malcorps, Group CEO at Puratos
1) What inspires today’s growth of Puratos, from its foundation over 100 years ago?
For more than 100 years, Puratos has been pioneering improvements in bread production. Thanks to Puratos’ vertical integration through the production of emulsifiers, enzymes and sourdoughs, we can offer unique benefits to help bakers to make better breads.
Today, we go the extra mile to answer the consumer demand of clean(er) label and sustainable solutions by utilizing the benefits of fermentation technologies. Enzymes enables us to create shorter and clearer ingredient lists for baked goods with outstanding texture and freshness. Sourdoughs bring taste, stories and emotions to breads.
2) How has the evolution of biotechnology helped your expansion?
At Puratos, we know that enzymes are key for delivering all of the benefits bakers are seeking, including the clean(er) label trends. Produced by fermentation, enzymes find their origins in nature. A whole new generation of enzymes has been discovered in some of the most amazing locations on Earth, leading to innovative products and bread functionalities such as short bite, softness and many more. For example, in an expedition to the Antarctic a unique new family of xylanase enzymes was discovered. Coming from a cold region, these enzymes have optimal activity at much lower temperatures compared to regular enzymes. This means that their strength and tolerance properties will come into play even in cold doughs.
As consumers rediscover the nutritional benefits of bread, there’s increasing demand for transparency, simplicity and authenticity. Consequently, bread labels are more and more often clean(er) label. Consumers are also looking for more grains and seeds to improve the nutritional value. But they want to go beyond that. ‘Bread with sourdough’ has become a favourite bread during the Covid crisis, as it has become part of a healthier diet – 3rd after ‘bread rich in fibre’ and ‘breads with more grains’ and preferred over ‘high in protein, low in salt’ and ‘gluten free’ bread. 1It is encouraging more and more bakers to re-think the very essence of their bread, namely, the way it’s fermented.
3) What are your plans for growth within novel ingredients?
The future of bread lies in its past. New biotech analytical tools help us in understanding traditional fermentation processes studied, amongst others, in our Sourdough Library. That enables Puratos to identify critical characteristics leading to more digestible and/or gut friendly breads.
New research done by Professor Marco Gobbetti has shown that the choice between commercial baker’s yeast and sourdough not only impacts breads’ volume, taste and texture, but can also have a significant impact on its digestibility.
Research into the role and diversity of microbes living in the human gut is radically changing the way many of us think about bacteria. We know that far from being agents of disease, many species of microbes play a pivotal role in our physical and mental health. Further research now shows that some sourdough bread fermentation directly influences the type and amount of bread prebiotic compounds (such as fibers). These compounds help the gut microbiome to keep a healthy balance, to positively affect immune response and inhibit pathogenic bacteria growth.
As a consequence, Puratos is working on short- and long-term projects that will bring to market high quality gut-friendly ingredients. Here too, sourdough will play a prominent role. Puratos is working on a sourdough technology releasing dietary fibers for a healthy gut approach.
We strongly believe that there are much more opportunities in biotech laying ahead of us. An example is found in the transition to more plant based foods, which can benefit from functionalities coming through expression of plant based proteins by microorganisms through precision fermentation, a path we are currently exploring and actively partnering in.
All these initiatives fit perfectly well in our sustainability approach as a part of Puratos commitment to help building a more sustainable food system.
4) How does your development help consumers and businesses worldwide?
More than ever, consumers care about what they eat and pay more attention to the product label. For baked goods, there is a rising demand for short and clean(er) labels, with mainly natural ingredients and ingredient names that consumers know or understand.
Clean(er) label is a widely accepted term that is used in the industry, but for which no harmonized definition exists. It often results in the removal or reduction of some ingredients (e.g. additives as preservatives and emulsifiers, artificial colors, artificial flavors, etc.).
For industrial bakeries, this means to make clean(er) label baked goods without compromise on quality, process or taste.