The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

How bread is manufactured

The Faltering Quality Of Bread
by Dr Robert Harris

An extract from Slim Forever—Chapter 15 grains, breakfast cereals and bread

Give Us Our Daily Bread
Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your HealthBread has been referred to as the staff of life, but that was before the advent of modern production techniques. In the early days of milling, flour was produced by crushing the whole grain between stone rollers. The stone rollers were usually driven by wind, water or oxen power and moved slowly without generating heat. Vitamins and minerals are easily destroyed by heat, but the cold crushing techniques of times past guaranteed most of the nutrients, including the germ, were retained.

Not so today. Flour is milled by discarding the germ and the cellulose outer layer and crushing the grain between high speed steel rollers. Unlike the course ground whole grain flour produced by stone grinding, the flour we eat today is an extremely fine white powder. This the miller achieves by subjecting the grain to multiple crushing in a series of machines each with progressively finer roller settings. The heat generate by the steel rollers is capable of destroying any vitamins and minerals normally found in the grain, producing a finished product of lifeless off-white starch.

There are approximately 60 approved chemicals used in the making of flour and bread. Although no single manufacture uses all 60 additives, eight or more are common place. For example, fresh flour is less than snow white and has a strong odour. To overcome these marketing deterrents the flour is gassed in special ovens using chlorine dioxide. The chlorine not only bleaches and matures the flour, it forms compounds such as dichlorostearic acid which remain in the flour. Chlorine dioxide destroys vitamin E, and reacts with certain proteins to form methionine sulfoxide which is known to cause central nervous system damage in humans. If chlorine dioxide is not used, bleaches such as benzoyl peroxide and nitrogen peroxide may be added together with maturing agents such as potassium bromate, potassium iodate and azocarbonamide.

Bread made from fresh stone ground flour is heavy and prone to drying and crumbling, a characteristic not desirable in today's commercially produced bread. Bakers are able to keep their product moist by adding polyoxyethlene monostearate which has the property of absorbing and retaining water. Water retention in the flour causes the bread to stand up and remain soft, but this chemical also causes cancer in laboratory rats. Ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides are also added to produce the desirable quality of softness in bread.

Fermentation is an important part of bread making. The addition of yeast causes the starch cells to rupture and the dough to rise, but the process of natural fermentation is too slow for commercial bakers. A fermentation accelerator is added in the form of ammonium chloride, a chemical compound also used in the manufacture of antifreeze for cars, and washing powder.

The more air holes there are in a loaf of bread the less flour it contains, and this is an important point in baking economics. A process developed in England and used widely throughout the industrialised world successfully combines the fermentation and aeration processes. This is achieved by adding 75 parts per million of potassium bromate and potassium iodate and mechanically whipping the dough. The dough becomes aerated and the fermentation time is reduced from between four and seven hours to just two minutes. Potassium bromate is a substance commonly found in home permanent hair wave products. Potassium iodate is known to cause gastrointestinal distress and the destruction of red blood cells when administered to test animals.

Milled white flour stripped of its natural inhibitors is extremely vulnerable to mould infestation. This is overcome by adding propionic acid, the anti-fungal ingredient in athletes foot powder.

Do you prefer wholemeal bread? Wholemeal bread is made from white flour to which is added chemically treated wheat germ. Doris Grant, author of Your Daily Food, suggests the addition of chemically treated wheat germ makes the finished product twice as harmful as bread made from white flour alone.

'Enriched', 'hi-fibre' and 'fibre-added' are terms appearing on many bread wrappers, but what do they mean? During the course of manufacture the bread we buy is denuded of all 20 natural vitamins and minerals and what little protein the grain originally contained. Bakers add an average of just three or four synthetic vitamins and minerals and claim their product to be enriched. In the absence of the other 16 or 17 nutrients destroyed in the milling process, the term 'degraded' may be more appropriate.

More information on this subject: Books : Scientific Studies : Websites : Videos : Food Mall 

Recipe of the day

Bottom Round Crock Pot Roast

Ingredients:                                                                                                    Food mall: Beef Roast
Organic Grass Fed Top Round London Broil Roast ONE (1 to 2 lb. Roast)3 pound bottom round roast
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 whole clove (optional)
1 cup water

Rub roast with salt and pepper. Make small slits in roast and insert slices of garlic. Put 1 sliced onion in bottom of crock-pot. Place roast on top of onion and add other ingredients. Cover and cook on low for about 10 hours.