Gordon Polson


Federation of Bakers

This month is the 50th anniversary of the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP). The vast majority of bread baked in the UK is produced using a similar high-speed dough mixing process one used in over 30 countries.

Whether the anniversary is cause for celebration or commiseration has been a topic of much debate in the media over the last month. The event has been seen by some as an opportunity to promote artisan bread and denigrate bread made by high-speed mixing, exaggerating the differences and claiming the latter is the cause of food intolerances and bread of poor quality, both in terms of taste and nutritional value.

BBC Breakfast News ran a balanced feature looking at the benefits of the process in terms of offering a nutritious food to the masses at an affordable price, as well as giving the artisan bakers’ perspective. However, following this, an article appeared in the Daily Mail in the middle of June entitled ’Is your bread making you ill?’ that can only be described as scaremongering and worryingly inaccurate and misleading. The feature claimed bread made using such a process was the cause of intolerances and diseases such as asthma and gut problems.

The Federation disagrees with this sensationalist approach, which promotes one sector at the expense of another by giving out information that isn’t based on fact. A better approach is to celebrate the breadth of what the baking industry has to offer. So we will continue to celebrate what’s good about bread made using processes like the CBP; be it a reduction in food waste to making a more cost-effective product that allows consumers to have a nutritious, healthy and fresh product without the burden of shopping every day.