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    You Ask, I Answer: Enriched Whole Grain Bread?

    dsc00448I love this Costco whole grain loaf [I took a photo of the ingredient label for you to see] but have questions regarding some of the ingredients that go into it, namely the thiamine mononitrate, the riboflavin and the ferrous sulfate.

    I know that they can be described as dietary supplements but I am an avid whole grains baker myself and never add any of that to my breads.

    Two questions: Should I?   Do these nutrients double as dough conditioners and could it the reason Costco is using them?

    — “MC”
    Via e-mail

    Guess what?  Contrary to what Costco wants you to think, that loaf is not 100% whole grain.

    Notice the first ingredient?  Unbleached flour?  That’s refined white flour.

    Sure, whole wheat flour is the fourth ingredient, so this bread contains some whole grains, but it is not an entirely whole grain bread.  If you seek 100% whole grain products, look for whole grain flours as the first (and only) ingredient.

    In the United States, per the National Enrichment Act of 1942, all refined grain products MUST be enriched with niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and iron.

    Folate is a fortified nutrient and was not legally required to be added to refined grains until 1998.

    Remember, enrichment refers to putting nutrients lost during processing back into a food, while fortification entails tacking on nutrients not naturally found in a given food.

    When a bread is 100% whole grain (meaning ONLY whole grain flours are used), it is not enriched.

    These nutrients do not double as dough conditioners; they are there because it’s the law!

    By the way, this would only be considered false advertising if the loaf was sold under the guise of being “100% whole grain.”  It is TECHNICALLY a whole grain loaf since it DOES contain whole grains.

    Trust me, manufacturers know this.  They also know the words “whole grain” help boost sales.

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    7 Comments

    1. Elyse said on May 7th, 2009

      I have a question :I thought unbleached flour was good .So what is it unbleached flour??
      thanks

    2. Andy Bellatti said on May 7th, 2009

      Unbleached flour is refined, white flour. What makes it more appealing to some consumers is that it is not bleached with chemicals (hence, it more of an off-white color). Nutritionally, though, it is inferior to whole wheat flour. It contains less fiber, less phytonutrients, and less nutrients.

    3. Elyse said on May 8th, 2009

      thank you very much for your reply!!
      Your blog is very interesting
      Elyse

    4. AndrewBoldman said on June 4th, 2009

      Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

    5. Rosario said on December 4th, 2009

      Very useful post. Bookmarked. Thanks for it!

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