Promising research could lead to ‘heathier white bread’

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Funding given to Welsh university in effort to reformulate white bread to be more nutritious. Credit: Getty/clubfoto
Funding given to Welsh university in effort to reformulate white bread to be more nutritious. Credit: Getty/clubfoto

Related tags R&D reformulation Health

A Gloucestershire-based miller has teamed up with Aberystwyth University to study the milling and blending process for white flour in a bid to develop better-for-you white bread.

Equipped with funding from Innovate UK, the collaboration between organic millers Shipton Mill and the team at Aberystwyth University could see peas, beans and oats added to wheat flour to boost its nutritional value.

The project is one of 47 to receive a share of £17.4m from Innovate UK as part of its ‘Better Food For All’ programme, which is looking to improve food quality, boost nutrition and extend the shelf life of healthy foods.

Aberystwyth University, based in Wales, is known for its leading plant research, with 65% of all oats in the UK grown from varieties developed there.

Dr Amanda Lloyd, who works within the Department of Life Sciences at the university, hopes its long-standing research in this area will be able to be put to good use.

“Poor diet plays a major role in ill-health, chronic diseases and a significant portion of cancer cases,” ​said Lloyd. “Obesity rates are very high in the UK, with projected costs for the NHS at £9.7 billion by 2050 and society at nearly £50 billion annually. Using our expertise at the university, we hope that this project can play a role in tackling this growing issue of diet-related poor health and well-being.”

Lloyd continued that the project has the added benefit of bring significant social and economic benefits to the UK too, with a chance to “further establish the UK as a leader in the flour and flour-based foods markets”.

Commenting on the partnership, Chris Holister from Shipton Mill, said: “This project builds on our belief that variety and nature-friendliness is the way to measure the success of a crop, not speed and growth. In milling, our craft is to provide bakers with excellent and reliable results that work with nature and what the climate and seasonality can offer. We hope that this work can help make for a healthier and happier diet for very many people.

“With projects like this, we in the UK food industry have a chance to make a positive impact: creating innovative products and solutions that could both improve people’s health and create jobs in the sector.”

In other news, Provision Trade Federation's director general serves up some wise words following the latest phase of post-Brexit border controls, in Food Manufacture's exclusive column.

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