Industrial bread

Mass-produced supermarket bread could be damaging your health!

80% of bread made in the UK is produced via the Chorleywood Bread Process. This method was developed in the 1960s as an industrial mass-production method. The dough is first pumped full of artifical additives & enzymes before being mixed in high speed mixers under pressure. It produces a high volume, light bread in super-quick time. The longest part of the process is the 2 hour cooling period when the bread comes out of the oven before it is sliced and wrapped for the supermarket shelves. This method has one sole purpose – to produce cheap bread on a industrial scale in the shortest possible time. Quality and nutritional substance are considered irrelevant.

Here is the list of ingredients in a well known British supermarket own-brand white loaf:

Wheat Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Rapeseed Oil, Spirit Vinegar, Emulsifiers (Mono- and Di-Acetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids, Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Soya Flour, Preservative (Calcium Propionate), Palm Oil, Flour Treatment Agent (Ascorbic Acid).

As if that wasn’t bad enough, a whole bunch of enzymes will have been used in the production process which are not required by law to be listed on the label as they are considered “processing aids” which supposedly get used up during the production process. These enzymes can include phospholipase, fungal alpha amylase, transglutaminase, xylanase, maltogenic amylase, hemicellulase, oxidase, peptidase and protease. Many of these enzymes are derived from animal products.

Mass produced bread
Mass produced bread

This applies both to the wrapped loaves in supermarkets and bread and baked goods from the in-store bakery counters. Is it any wonder that some people find this stuff hard to digest? People often think they have a problem with gluten or wheat, but there is a fair chance that it is perhaps these other additives that are causing a problem. Transglutaminase for example has been implicated in causing non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Emulsifiers are used in mass-produced bread to influence the texture and evenness of the bread crumb structure. They are now being implicated in a range of health issues – so much so that I have covered them separately here.

It was reported in the media recently that French researchers have classified mass-produced bread as an ultra-processed food that could be linked with cancer. Their findings were published in the British Medical Journal here.

If you care about your health and well-being think very carefully before consuming supermarket bread as you could be doing yourself some serious damage.

Opt for a good quality sourdough bread from an independent microbakery instead.

Here is the full list of ingredients in Riddle-Me-Rye white sourdough for comparison with the above:

100% organic wheat flour, water, salt.

No artifical additives, preservatives, enzymes, emulsifiers, E-numbers, “processing aids” or other rubbish!

Riddle-Me-Rye white sourdough - 100% natural goodness
Riddle-Me-Rye white sourdough – 100% natural goodness