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Commercially Made Bread and Its Ills - Change To Live Well

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Commercially Made Bread and Its Ills

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Historically, Bread making used to be a very time consuming task that entailed a slow process with the most common source of leavening being a piece of dough from the previous day (which had) water and sugar in it). This was used as a sort of sourdough starter.bThis process used to take up to a day to produce bread.

In the last 50 years however, the process of bread making has evolved with more chemical additives being introduced to speed up the bread making process and prolong the shelflife of the loaf itself. These days, bread made to last for weeks can be mixed, made up , risen and baked in fewer than 3 hours thereby sacrificing nutrition on the altar of gain.

When you walk into a Supermarket wherever you live on the planet the bread aisle is always full of different types of loaves that you will be spoilt for choice ( trust me i know as i have lived in Nigeria, Singapore, briefly in Texas and currently in the UK) From the good old plain white bread to whole meal to multi grains and seeds loaves to specialty loaves….we can go on and on.

Bread is a breakfast food of choice for a lot of us and understandably so. We live in a fast paced world and we are juggling so many things at the same time…career, raising kids, family and heck some people are even in school for extra qualification. thus, in the interest of healthy eating and weight loss let us examine the other ingredients in in bread apart from  FLOUR , A LITTLE OIL, WATER , SALT YEAST AND SUGAR  

which is basically what you need to make bread. How then does the ingredient list of commercially made bread end up looking like something from a chemistry experiment?

Potassium Bromate…(E924)

To avoid too many scary chemical names, bread labels were allowed to group the nasties under bland headings such as ‘flour treatment agent’ and ’emulsifier’. This is a chemical categorized as a category 2B carcinogen (a substance capable of causing cancer) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer . It is still being used in the USA though widely banned in Canada, Nigeria,Brazil, the EU and Peru) Consumption of this chemical has also been been linked to kidney damage and problems with the nervous system. Are you sure the loaf you are eating is completely free of this poison?

 Calcium Propionate E282

This chemical is added to commercially made bread and pastries to inhibit mold growth thereby increasing their shelf life. Scientists have warned tht regular consumption of this chemical can over a period of time damage the stomach lining.  Why dont you just make the bread you’ll need and eat fresh?  Research in the ‘Journal of Pediatric health’ in 2002 concluded that chronic exposure of children to Calcium Propionate might induce a myriad of behavioral changes.  A group of kids fed a controlled diet without any food additives  were compared to a group given commercially made bread. The clinical trial revealed that ‘ restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance may be caused by the preservatives in healthy foods consumed daily’. These changes appeared to be reversible when the preservative is removed from the kids diet.

High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

This sweet syrupy liquid is used to sweeten primarily baked goods and beverages including soft drinks and some ‘juices’. It is cheaper for companies to use than sugar  hence its popularity in the food and drink manufacturing ‘world’. It is also called GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE in Canada and ISOGLUCOSE  in the EU. There are a myriad of health concerns raised about HFCS as a sweetener. It allegedly contributes to obesity, diabetes and in the long term obesity by increasing appetite and cravings for food. It is also Genetically Modified food as virtually the corn grown in the USA ( which is a major maker of this syrup) is GMO. A recent study by the University of Utah researchers found that the Sugars found in HFCS were more toxic to mice than Sucrose and it reduced the lifespan and reproductive capacity in female mice. These Substance in my opinion should be treated as Poison…..as Researchers have identified that the Fructose in HFC goes directly to the Liver where it converts to Fat ….hence directly sabotaging your weight loss efforts as the liver is a key organ in the metabolism of fat.

Dough Conditioners…Azordicarbonamide

This chemial is used as a dough conditioner and a flour bleaching agent. This same chemical is used principally in the production of foamed plastic as a blowing agent….Can you imagine?. As a food additive it is not authorised for use in Australia and the EU but is GENERALLY RECOGNIZED as safe in the USA. Since Azordicarbonamide is a flour bleaching agent that means we can safely deduce that it is present in all white flour products so the only way to abstain from it is to buy whole wheat products and flour that doesn’t have any added enriched flour.

Mono and diglycerids:

These are fats (mostly sourced from the fats of animals unless otherwise stated) added to bind liquids with fat . It is the cheaper substitute for commercial bread manufacturers who will ofcourse not use more expensive, natural and healthier fats like butter, olive oil and co.

Then there is…….

          Hydrogenated Fat

and trans fat which should be avoided like we avoid knowingly ingesting poison.

Hydrogenated fat is made when oil is heated to a very high temperature and hydrogen is bubbled through it while Trans fat is a product of hardening vegetable oils into margerine or shortening (these can clog the arteries). How can this chemistry experment product be classified as food?


This my submission…….IF YOU MUST EAT BREAD, MAKE YOUR OWN so you can at least add more nutrients by way of nuts, healthy oils and dried fruits (can also make gluten free loaves) while totally avoiding chemical additives.


Before you roll your eyes at me saying how practicable is this?  Just invest in a breadmaker and all you have to do is put all the ingredients in it….it will do every other thing.

Personally I use this Panasonic SD 2500 WXC

 and it turns out very nice loaves and can even make gluten free loaves….Be prepared for a complete revolution of your taste as far as bread is concerned.




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Hi there, I am Eniola- a 'foodie' who is working hard at getting to a healthy BMI by choosing my food wisely and getting more physically active. I love cooking and am very adventurous as far as food is concerned. This blog has been an awesome experience so far. C'mon join me on this adventure....

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