Investigating Coloradan Sourdough Breads and Consumer Perceptions of Healthfulness

The overarching objective of this internship is to survey consumers and producers of sourdough bread about their perceptions of sourdough healthfulness as it related to gluten intolerances such as celiac disease, and to collect starter cultures from bakeries across Colorado for investigation of potential protective effects against these conditions.

Under the guidance of the mentoring team, the Extension summer intern would complete the following aims:
o Investigate consumer habits and perceptions related to the healthfulness of sourdough bread as it related to gluten intolerances
• Develop survey for sourdough consumers to gather information about consumption habits and perceptions about the sourdough healthfulness
• Meet with extension professionals to gather input on survey and identify additional questions relevant to stakeholder interests
• Distribute survey and collect consumer data
o Collect samples of starter cultures and information relevant to microbial and chemical analysis from commercial Colorado sourdough producers
• Develop information sheet for producers to fill out regarding starter handling and maintenance
• Develop protocol for storage of starter culture samples until chemical/microbial analysis
o Develop outreach materials summarizing findings related to consumer perception of sourdough breads (collected from this study) versus actual findings of healthfulness (collected from ongoing work in the FSFL)
• Creation of social media materials for CSU Extension Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram
• Design downloadable material for Extension websites
• Assist with development and delivery of a 1-hour webinar to share with Extension for future use

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