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Lidl forced to rename bread in ‘fake’ sourdough row

Lidl bread
Real Bread campaigner argued the labelling of Lidl’s ‘Sourdough Crusty Rye Bloomer’ was misleading

Lidl has been forced to rebrand one of its loaves following a row over whether the bread was actually sourdough. The German supermarket has rebranded one of its crusty bloomers after campaigners claimed it was “sourfaux”.

The Real Bread Campaign argued the labelling of Lidl’s “Sourdough Crusty Rye Bloomer” was misleading because baker’s yeast was being added to speed up the rising process.

Sourdough does not use added yeast and is made using a live “starter”, which is formed using a paste of flour and water to grow naturally-occuring yeast and bacteria.

The Real Bread Campaign also argued the loaves should not be labelled as rye bread because it was made of 56pc wheat flour and no more than 12pc rye flour. Lidl has now caved in to the pressure and vowed to rebrand its bread after the campaign group raised a complaint with trading standards.

The loaves will be rebranded “Crusty Wheat & Rye Bloomer”, removing reference to sourdough altogether.

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: “We’re thankful that Lidl has come up with a more appropriate name for the product but we shouldn’t have to be spending our time on individual cases like this.”

It followed a separate complaint with the Advertising Standards Agency, which found in Lidl’s favour. Lidl’s rebranded loaf is the latest skirmish in an ongoing tussle between bakers over what can be called sourdough.

Local and commercial bakers earlier this year clashed over new guidance on how to bake the bread.

Six national baker groups in January published a baking industry code of practice, which included recommended definitions on labels for sourdough.

It suggested using the term “bloomer with sourdough” to refer to loaves where baker’s yeast is used and “sourdough flavour bloomer”, which could allow for additives that make the bread taste more sour.

The guidance was termed a “cheat’s charter” by the Real Bread Campaign.

An investigation by Which? previously found that four in five loaves of sourdough sold in British supermarkets do not contain the correct ingredients.

The Real Bread Campaign is pushing for the Government to introduce new laws to legally define sourdough and artisan bread, as well as to force bakers to display ingredients on loaves that are sold unwrapped. It has dubbed its proposed legislation the Honest Crust Act.

Mr Young said: “In the meantime, we urge all bakeries and retailers to adopt the measures voluntarily, including displaying full ingredients lists of unwrapped products at point of sale, so shoppers can make better-informed buying choices.”

A spokesman for Lidl said: “We continuously review and update our bakery range to ensure that we have the best offering for our customers at the lowest possible prices.”