Flour, whether white or wholemeal, supplies a large proportion of the nutrients required by our bodies to ensure growth and health.
Flour is used as the basis for many cereal food products including bread, biscuits, pasta, pastries and cakes. The nutrients it contains are continually supplied throughout an average person’s day. Our breakfast, lunch and evening meals usually contain products either based on flour, or thickened with flour.
Flour is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, fibre and complex carbohydrates. It is also low in fat and cholesterol.
Nutritional analyses have been carried out on flour samples from New Zealand flourmills. Samples ranged from flours used in making biscuits through to those used in bread. As flour is the basis of many frequently eaten foods such as bread and pasta, we are easily able to take advantage of its varied nutrients.
Did you know that all bread is nutritious?
All breads are nutritious and the differences between them in nutritional value are not significant if we eat a balanced diet.
White bread has approximately the same carbohydrate and protein content as wholemeal bread, contains soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, and a good percentage of the whole wheat nutrients. It is made from unbleached flour made from the inner 78% of the wheat grain. If you prefer white bread to wholegrain breads, you can get your extra fibre from other foods such as wholegrain cereals.
In New Zealand wholemeal bread is made from at least 90% wholemeal flour. White flour may be added to wholemeal flour to make wheatmeal products. Due to it gluten protein content, white bread is often added to improve the baking quality of breads made with wholemeal flour.
Wheatmeal breads are not subject to food regulations and so the quantity of wholemeal flour used may vary. Nutritional comparisons are therefore difficult to make.