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Doggy treats, dodgy additives, good bacteria

So how is your summer going? Our world is a wonderful place of delicious breads, happy foodservice customers and an ever-growing collection of innovative products for Vegans and vegetarians as well as carnivores. Elsewhere in the bread universe, things can get complicated. Here’s the news.

Delicious baked pet treats win an award

We’d like to congratulate Paws 4 Treats, based in Plymouth, the winners of a Highly Commended award in the Best Pet Related Business Pet Food Supplies at The Animal Star Awards, Southern Region. The Vegan bakery makes dog treats so good humans can eat them thanks to the founder, Julie Brown, who only uses human-grade ingredients in her baked pet treats. As she says, “Nothing is added that I would not eat myself”. Woof!

Artisan breads hit a high in the USA

The USA isn’t known for the quality of its food. But bread remains in the top five bakery buys and apparently artisan breads are leading the way over the Atlantic. Some say it’s down to a corresponding demand for healthier foods, with “a lot of health and well-being messaging going on.” The quality of US bread also has been on the rise, helping drive an increase in sales of artisan baked goods.

It’s good to hear US shoppers know they need whole grains and bread in their diet, and even better to know their faddish fear of carbs is finally fading away.

Common bread additive linked to Type 2 diabetes

A team of French scientists has carried out the first ever global study of the relationship between emulsifiers in food – including bread – and Type 2 diabetes. The study has been going on for 14 years and analyses the experiences of the general population.

The NutriNet-Santé web-cohort study ran from 2009 to 2023. It found emulsifiers like carrageenans and mono- and diacetyltartaric acid esters boost the risk of the disease by ‘varying percentages’. But while there are ‘significant health implications’, more work is needed to establish causality beyond doubt, then figure out how to regulate the emulsifiers in food.

How frozen bread is brilliant for our gut bacteria

An NHS doctor says freezing bread comes with health benefits, good news when it also reduces food waste – if you need bread, just grab a slice fresh from the freezer. Dr Chintal Patel says freezing and reheating bread affects the starch, changing its molecular structure so it’s more resistant. This makes it better for your gut bacteria, helping create a healthier biome. It also happens to reduce the bread’s glycemic index, a measure revealing the relative rise of blood glucose levels two hours after eating.

US’s largest grocery store in legal hot water

You really don’t want to mislead or ‘endanger’ shoppers in the famously-litigious USA over the calories in bread, or indeed anything else.

Kroger, the US’s biggest grocery store retailer, is being sued for allegedly misleading people about their bread’s calorie count. In one of those ‘whoops’ moments everyone hopes they never experience, the prosecutors shared photos of a pack of Carbmaster Classic White Bread with a different calorie label on each side, 30 calories per slice on one side and 50 calories on the other.

This constitutes false advertising, and the district attorneys from two Californian counties have filed a civil lawsuit as a result. Apparently Kroger violated both the false advertising and unfair competition laws from late 2018 until June 2022, maybe longer. Heads will no doubt roll.

The links between bread, conflict and poverty

In 2011, civil war drove 100,000 or so Syrians to neighbouring Lebanon. 90% of those still living there are struggling with poverty. Now the Saudi-run King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has distributed 25,000 bundles of bread to the hungry, enough to feed 62,500 vulnerable people from these Syrian and Palestinian communities.

At the same time the Egyptian government has just put up the price of subsidised bread for the first time in decades. Bread is the country’s most important staple food and the price hike is predicted to hit poor people hard. With around 60% of Egypt’s 106 million people close to or under the poverty line, the decision will affect millions who rely on bread for survival.

Taste it, love it

It’s a love thing. But talk is cheap. How about giving our flash-frozen artisan breads a try for yourself?  Just ask and we’ll send you a box of samples to make your mouth water, baked in Kent with skill and passion.


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