Norway’s first sourdough factory

Idun Industri AS has opened Norway’s first commercial sourdough factory at Hvam.


Idun Industri has been engaged in the process of identifying the Norwegian culture of baking, Norwegian artisanal traditions and taste preferences for several years. This knowledge has now been concentrated in the sourdough concept, “Identity”.

«The reason for our investing in a separate factory is that sourdough is a growing new trend. I often say that the past has caught up with us and become the future,” says Brit Bjørkli, Marketing Manager at Idun Industri.
The tradition of baking bread using sourdough as an ingredient is several thousand years old. Since yeast was unavailable, people saved a little dough when they baked and used it to start the rising process in the next dough they made. The rising time was long, since sourdough does not produce as much CO2 as yeast. Today, sourdough is used in both the artisanal and industrial production of bread. Using sourdough as an ingredient enhances the quality of bread by giving it better taste and consistency and a longer shelf life.  
“Our sourdough is based on Norwegian flour, and we are also able to produce customised sourdoughs based on customers’ own recipes. Our new sourdough concept will enable bakeries to strengthen their image and identity by producing unique, tasty breads that are specially adapted to Norwegian conditions and palates,” Brit Bjørkli declares.The new sourdough factory at Hvam outside Oslo has a surface area of 500 m2, and production is largely automated. The factory will have an initial annual production capacity of 1,000 tonnes. The factory can be expanded modularly, and the aim is to attain an annual capacity of 10,000 tonnes. At first, the factory will make inactive sourdough starters, which will be sold to the bakery market in Norway and Sweden in 250 and 640-litre containers.

Idun Industri AS is part of Orkla Food Ingredients (OFI). Idun Industri has a long, proud tradition which dates back to the establishment of Christiania Pressgjærfabrikk in 1918. The present company was founded in 1990 and is now market leader in bakery ingredients for Norwegian bakeries.