Wendyl Wants to Know: Wholegrain's best whichever way you slice it
Tip Top Super Soft White Sandwich
$3.99 for 700g (21 slices plus crusts)
We all know that white bread is bad for you and brown bread is good. Yet white bread is such a big part of the Kiwi diet because we wrap sausages in it, sprinkle hundreds and thousands on it to make fairy bread and roll it up to make cheese rolls. And white bread remains one of our top selling supermarket foods.
A survey of Wellington supermarket shoppers in 2004 found that the most popular products bought were full-fat milk, white bread, sugary soft drinks and butter. And a Ministry of Health nutritional survey of children in 2002 revealed that white bread was the most commonly eaten bread.
Over in Britain, however, sales of white bread fell by 1 per cent in 2010 while sales of brown bread increased by 6 per cent, so perhaps we are just late bread adopters. The most popular brown bread in this country is Vogel's which is missed by expats all over the world and has been produced in New Zealand for many years, some believe originally from a small bakery in Auckland although this isn't confirmed by the Vogel's website.
The website does inform us that the original mixed grain bread is baked to Swiss nutritionist Alfred Vogel's original 1950s recipe.
Let's analyse Vogel's and Tip Top Super Soft to see what's in them.
Flour you use at home for baking.
Yeast you use at home.
Iodised salt has been added to our commercially prepared bread since September 2009 when a number of studies revealed the iodine status was declining among New Zealanders. Iodine is an essential nutrient for humans and is only required in small amounts. One of the serious health effects of iodine deficiency disorders is goitre (enlargement of the thyroid gland leading to a swelling of the neck). In very severe iodine deficiency, stunted growth and mental retardation can occur in children.
Because of high rainfall and glaciations in this country it is deficient in our soil so plants grown in our soil have low iodine levels as do the animals which eat the plants.
Table salt was iodised in 1924 and the level was increased in 1938 along with a major public education campaign to ensure people understood the benefits of using iodised salt.
The re-emergence in iodine deficiency appears to be due to New Zealanders eating more commercially prepared foods made without iodised salt and people using less salt in their food at home in a response to health messages to reduce salt intake.
This is most likely in here to keep the bread soft and live up to its "Super Soft" label but also means it has 1.2g of fat per serve.
This is most likely in here to give increased protein to the bread.
Acidity Regulator (263)
This is calcium acetate which is derived from lime and is in here to maintain the correct pH of the bread.
Emulsifiers (481, 472e, 471)
These are sodium lactylate, diacetytartaric of mono and diglycerides of fatty acids and mono and diglycerides of fatty acids. They are in here to mix the canola oil with the water and make sure it stays that way. Although 472e is used in baked goods to improve volume.
Vogel's Original Mixed Grain Sandwich
$4.89 for 750g (19 slices plus crusts)
There are rumours that the brown colour of bread like this is achieved by adding colours but this bread has no added colours, sugars or preservatives. The lack of preservatives means you must keep it in the fridge if it is hot or humid. It also has a low GI of 41 which means it takes longer to digest, giving a more even level of energy rather than a sharp spike.
This is ordinary white flour as you would use at home.
Mixed Grains (24 per cent)
(Wheat, rye) The addition of whole grains wheat and rye into this bread at 24 per cent per serve means that for every two slices of this bread, you get about 17g of wholegrains.
There is no official recommended intake for wholegrain in our diet but an independent industry group called Go Grains Health and Nutrition, which has members such as Sanitarium and Kellogg, recommends each person eats 48g a day so if you eat 5 slices of Vogel's you'll hit that target.
There is substantial evidence that wholegrains can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, help with weight management and assist in preventing some cancers - particularly colon cancer.
These wholegrains also give the bread 2.9g of fibre per two slices. The wholegrains also give you added nutrition particularly folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin E.
Skim Milk Powder
This is low-fat milk which has been dried into a powder. It is often added into bread to give a soft crumb.
When you bake bread with grains in it at home you often have to add gluten as a flour conditioner or improver to keep the bread light rather than heavy. This is probably why this is in the mix here.
See above for explanation of this ingredient.
In homemade bread the addition of vinegar can enhance gluten development and help the texture of the bread.
This is plain old baking yeast.
When it comes to nutrition it is hard to look past Vogel's as it has more protein at 6.4g per serve than Tip Top at 4.9g, and more fibre at 2.9g per serve than Tip Top at 1.5g.
And because of the wholegrains in Vogel's, you are also getting extra nutrition and a much lower GI of 41 compared to white bread, which has an average GI rating of 70 or above. The addition of the oil in Tip Top means it is higher in fat, at 1.2g per serve, where Vogel's is 0.7g.
So your first choice should be Vogel's even though you can wash the dishes and dry them in the time it takes to toast it.
If your family really insist on white bread, Tip Top also does Oatilicious, which has extra oats to add wholegrains and fibre without affecting the texture of the bread.
* Contrary to some rumours, Vogel's does not use colouring to give its bread a brown colour. It has no added sugars, preservatives or artificial ingredients.
* Tip Top Super Soft has four added ingredients to emulsify and regulate pH as well as oil.
* To match Vogel's wholegrain and fibre content, upgrade your white bread to one with added oats.