More from Eric Pallant’s Sourdough Culture: A History of Bread Making From Ancient to Modern Bakers

For most people, Lactobacillus, the species of bacteria most common in sourdough cultures, is not abundantly represented on our skin. On average, Lactobacillus represents only about 2 percent of the microbes on men; on women, it represents about 6 percent. Yeast can be present on skin but is rarer still and not very diverse. For the professional bakers gathered in Saint-Vith, however, Lactobacillus bacteria and related species made up 25 percent — and sometimes as much as 80 percent — of the bacteria alive on their hands. Moreover, nearly all the yeast found on bakers’ hands was the same kind that can be found in sourdough starters, Saccharomyces being the most predominant.

Lactobacillus sanfranciscensisLactobacillus sanfranciscensis

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