Tesco has launched its first range of breads made using no artificial additives. The range of eight products goes on sale across Britain this month.

The breads are made by two key Tesco suppliers from single sites, said Tesco’s technical manager James Markie. They have removed emulsifiers, flavouring and preservatives.

Three of the products are made using the same long fermentation process of up to 18 hours as used in some craft bakeries.

"To see where we can take this new concept, we need to understand how the products are received," said Markie. "If they do well, we may grow the range.

"We know from our market research, that customers are very much interested in more natural, healthy foods and this is very evident in the bakery sector. Maybe one day all commercially baked bread could revert back to these traditional methods."

The current Tesco standard bread range will remain as is and will not be cut back, added Markie, "as we realise that for a lot of our customers, our standard breads, are exactly what they want".

The new products include: sourdough bloomer (400g), made with a long fermentation process of 18 hours, which costs £1.05; white bloomer (400g), a traditional sponge dough with a fermentation process of over 12 hours, which costs 90p; and seeded bloomer (400g), which is the same as the White Bloomer but with a blend of seeds.

The five 800g tin loaves include oatmeal (78p); white (95p); stoneground (95p); multiseed (78p); and multigrain sliced (95p).

Markie added that Tesco was communicating the ’free from artificial additives’ message to customers through simple back-of-pack declarations. It was also looking running into TV and press advertising, and developing point-of-sale material.