A new report has set out to debunk the myth that bread bloats.

The recent study by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) found there is no support to claims that bread made by the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) causes bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort in a different way to other bread-making processes.

Dr Elisabeth Weichselbaum, author of the report, said: “For the average healthy consumer, there is no evidence that regular consumption of bread causes bloating or gastrointestinal discomfort, or that the way in which bread is produced, by modern or traditional methods, leads to different effects on the gastrointestinal system.”

Weichselbaum added that bread is an “important” source of dietary fibre, which is required for bowel health, and most people in the UK “would benefit from increasing their fibre intake”.

She added that many people were unecesarilly reducing their fibre intake by cutting back on bread because they mistakenly believed they had some sort of food allergy.

“As with other forms of allergy, the proportion of people who perceive they are allergic to wheat is clearly higher than the actual prevalence of wheat allergy. If a wheat allergy is suspected, diagnosis should be made via standardised tests and unnecessary wheat avoidance may lead to inadequate intake of key nutrients.”

Alex Waugh, director at the Flour Advisory Bureau said: “Even though nine million loaves of sliced bread are eaten daily in the UK, making a positive contribution to our good health as a nation, misconceptions still persist about the nutritional value of sliced bread. That’s why we commissioned this independent report to understand the science before reaching out to consumers to address their concerns.

“Sliced bread has been a part of our lives for over 50 years, and the sandwich for 250 years and, according to research, 57% of us believe the CBP process should be celebrated as an iconic invention, alongside the likes of the internet, space travel and the mobile phone.”

This latest report follows research by Campden BRI from November last year that proved that the levels of B2, B5, B6, folic acid and vitamin E are higher for both white and wholemeal bread produced by CBP compared to white and wholemeal bread made by sourdough bulk fermentation.

To see the Weichselbaum report in full, click on the following link:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2011.01943.x/abstract

British Baker wants to hear the views of the industry on this report. Contact us on british.baker@wrbm.com.