Tread lighter with whole grain

Can whole grain bread lower your carbon footprint and raise your profits? We put three recipes to the test.

Whole grain bread is often promoted for the health benefits it provides as a source of dietary fibre. But how many of us consider that the use of whole grain flour in bread production can lead to a lower carbon footprint?

A study published in the International Journal of Lifecycle Assessment puts the carbon footprint of whole grain bread at 6-7% lower than that of white bread. Part of the reason is that, when milling flour for white bread, around 25% of the grain – the fibre – is thrown away.

Paradoxically, other, non-grain fibres may be bought and added during bread-making to raise the final product’s nutritional profile.

The feel of white bread
As many of us have experienced, producing bread with whole grain flour is one thing. Ensuring that consumers will actually like it is quite another. It is well known that most European consumers prefer the mild taste and soft texture of white bread. So how do we overcome that challenge when making more efficient use of the grain?

At DuPont, we have just completed a sensory trial with an enzyme-emulsifier system designed to give whole grain bread a similar eating quality to white bread. Two whole grain formulations were tested, one with 5% gluten and the market standard improver and the other with 3% gluten and the tailored enzyme-emulsifier system. Their performance was compared to that of a white control formulation with the market standard improver.

A close match all round
The results show that the whole grain bread with the enzyme-emulsifier system closely matches white bread on all sensory parameters. In addition, we found that gluten addition could be reduced in the whole grain bread without impacting volume, reconfirming our belief that sustainability in bread production really does pay.

Our findings could put whole grain bread in a new light for consumers, who get to eat healthier and more sustainably – and enjoy it, too!

We used DuPont Danisco® Fiberline 105 for our trials.

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