If you’ve looked at the ingredient list on a loaf in the supermarket recently, you may have been confused by some of the ingredients you see listed on the label. Most breads have certain additives that give it extra flavor and texture characteristics as well as serve as preservatives. It is important to be aware of these bread additives that some of them may worsen food allergies and cause allergic reactions. Here are some of the most common bread additives you can see listed on your favorite bread package.
Bread additives :. . . calcium propionate
Calcium propionate acts as a preservative for keeping bread free of mold. When buying preservative free bread shelf life is usually significantly shorter because this ingredient is not present. This preservative has been associated with allergic reactions in bakers and sleeping problems and restlessness in children.
Bread additives. . : Mono and diglycerides
These chemicals known as emulsifiers found in a variety of baked goods. Because they are emulsifiers, they allow the oily substances and watery the mixing more effective. They also give the finished bread a smoother texture. Mono and diglycerides has the added function to extend the life of the bread by keeping it from becoming stale. They appear safe from a toxicity and health standpoint
Bread additives. . : Potassium bromate.
Potassium bromate when added to bread acts as a dough conditioner and strengthener. Under the right conditions baking, this additive entirely used up, and do not pose a threat to health. In certain cases where the bread is baked long enough, or at the proper temperature, small amounts remain in the bread. This is a concern since potassium bromate has been classified as a possible carcinogen and banned in Europe as a food additive. This is an additive that is best avoided when possible.
Bread additives. . : Dextrose
Sometimes you will see dextrose on the ingredient list on a packaged bread. Although it may sound ominous, it’s really just another term for sugar. A small amount of sugar is needed when baking bread to provide fuel to the yeast which helps bread to rise
Bread additives. . : Partially hydrogenated oils
The other name for these unwanted additives are trans fats. You’ve probably already heard about the health dangers of trans fats. Because trans fats have been banned in New York, they have been removed from many baked goods. If you see mention of any kind of partially hydrogenated oil or fractionated oil on a bread ingredient label, steer clear of it for the sake of your health
Bread additives. . Sodium Stearoyl lactate.
This food additive helps to give the bread a lighter, more uniform structure. From a security standpoint, there seems to be no significant health problems associated with use although it can aggravate digestive problems in people with lactose intolerance.
Tips and Warnings
To avoid preservatives such as calcium propionate, you can buy without preservative bread at some natural food markets. Just plan to use the bread quickly because of the shorter shelf life. The best way to avoid rapid appearance of mold is to keep it in a nonhumid environment. You can also freeze portions of bread until you are ready to use it.