Founder of the Bakery Academy Jos Vast said that while the milk industry frequently listed micronutrients such as calcium, bakers often labeled the bare minimum required by legislation.
“The way forward for all bakery products is that we look at it like we do dairy,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“If you look at wheat - it has large amounts of phosphorus in the end product and there’s three times the amount of iron and potassium in whole wheat products [compared to wheat/white flour].”
He said while baked goods listed fat, salt and carbohydrate levels, rarely was potassium or iron featured.
“You can create awareness of vitamins and minerals in breads and cake products and that you are meeting a certain amount of a recommended daily intake (RDA) and that’s without really doing anything….it might be a blind spot we haven’t thought about. People say we do what we are told to do and do nothing more. I would see it as an opportunity.”
Bioavailability and consumer education
However, Vast warned the benefits of iron in bakery were a “grey area”. Wheat, for example, contained phytates that possibly inhibit the bioavailability of iron in baked goods, he said.
The consultant said back-of-pack was the best place to list micronutrients because the front was already crowded with branding and Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA) labels.
He said that while consumers may pay little attention to the back-of-pack in the short-term, they were becoming increasingly interested in what they are eating, so with education they would begin to notice the micronutrients.