Leo KlineStudied sourdough breadRICHMOND, Calif. -- Leo...


January 22, 1993


Studied sourdough bread

RICHMOND, Calif. -- Leo Kline, a biochemist who discovered the key ingredient that gives San Francisco sourdough bread its tangy flavor, died Jan. 10 of a heart attack at age 76.

Before Mr. Kline's discovery, the bread's distinctive flavor was attributed to a combination of the city's fog, local ovens and the skill of San Francisco bakers.

After two years of research with colleague T. Frank Sugihara, Mr. Kline discovered Lactobacillus sanfrancisco, a microorganism in sourdough starter that produces lactic acids and acetic acids. The origin of the microorganism is unknown. He received a patent in 1977 for San Francisco Sour Start, a freeze-dried

natural flour culture that contains live Lactobacillus sanfrancisco.

Mr. Kline served in the U.S. Navy as a pharmacist during World War II and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a doctorate in biochemistry.

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