Bread was a big part of my childhood back home in Nigeria. Soft bread with butter for breakfast, bakery-fresh slice bread with beans or beans cake for dinner, sandwiches on white bread for lunch sometimes. Whatever the shape or size, though, my family always buy white bread made with refined flour. Bread is a common food in Nigeria but some people still struggle to buy one because of austerity, however bread has come a long way in Nigeria, meanwhile 20 years ago, 80 percent of bread sold in Nigeria was white bread until confectionary and Bakery Company Such As Bigtreat came into existence.
Moreso, the cost of bread in Nigeria soared in the last 4 year as demand for wheat outstripped supply. Bread price depends on what state, what area you are and how much you are earning. It also depends on the size and packaging, prices ranges from N20 to N500, i.e. $0.2 to $4 or £2.
The different between quantity and quality of bread in Nigeria: Quantity; Meaning Big size, baked in a local bakery with total disregard for NAFDAC warning against ingredients like Bromate etc. goes for between 10 Naira (retail a.k.a per slice) to 100Naira (Wholesale a.k.a per loaf). Quality: Meaning Baked or manufacturing in a more hygienic bakery, allegedly baked up to NAFDAC specification goes for between 200Naira to 350Naira per loaf – that is 80p to £1.50p. The other continental manufacturing breads such croissants e.t.c is between 200Naira to as much as 500/1000Naira.
Today, the story is we’re buying more whole grain bread and less white and thanks to education, availability, and improved labelling (like stamps and logos indicating healthier products), whole grains have become a top priority now in the western world because of health issues.
Key point - If health is your prime objective when buying bread, purchase the one made with 100 percent whole grain flour, is an excellent improvement over refined and bleached flour products, but it isn’t enough.
Here are some tips to keep in mind next time your shopping for bread: Look for the term, ‘100% whole wheat’ or ‘100% whole grain’ to be listed as the first ingredient. Simply looking for the word ‘Unbleached or No artificial colours, artificial flavourings or preservative’ is not enough as it specifies that the flour has not undergone a bleaching process, but it is still refined. Bleached flour has been treated with chemicals that could lead to adverse health effects, including diabetes. These chemicals may not be listed on the label, so your safest bet is to avoid any foods made with white flour.
Most of us are aware that it isn’t enough to buy bread based on colour. Bread that is brown might simply be made with refined flour coloured with caramel colour or with some whole grain flour mixed in. When buying bread, the term, ‘100% whole wheat’ or ‘100% whole grain’ should be listed as the first ingredient. What does this mean? This indicates that all three parts of the whole grain kernel—the bran (the outer layer), the germ (the part that germinates), and the endosperm (the inside of the grain, which is mainly starch) are included.
Here are some hints on the various chemicals used to bleach flour (oxidizing agents) may include: Potassium bromate (banned in Nigeria, EU, Canada, China, Brazil, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Peru and more) Benzoyl peroxide (banned in the EU and China) Calcium peroxide (banned in the EU and China) Chlorine (banned in the EU) Chlorine dioxide gas (banned in the EU and Australia) Azodicarbonamide (banned in Singapore, the EU and Australia) Calcium bromate (banned in the EU and Canada) Nitrogen dioxide (banned in the EU and Australia).
Health is wealth, take care of yourself because there can only be one you and nobody can replace YOU.