White bread with high fiber content could be on sale in Britain in five years
High-fiber white bread could be on sale in Britain within five years after scientists have discovered how to raise wheat with twice as much fiber as traditional white flour.
White bread is rejected by many health conscious people because it has very little nutritional value.
But in what could be the best thing that can happen to the humble bread from sliced bread, researchers have identified the parts of the wheat genome that control the fiber content of white flour.
Hope has increased that high-fiber white bread products can be on supermarket shelves in five years.
According to the researchers, white flour with high fiber content has up to twice as much fiber as traditional white flour, but otherwise it is identical and constitutes a "good quality" white bread.
An international team, led by scientists from Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Center, based in Herts, opened the door to healthier white bread after identifying the genes responsible for the dietary fiber content of the flour.
The high-fiber white flour they produced has up to twice as much fiber as traditional white flour, according to the findings published in the journal PLOS One.
They say that the new white flour is identical and makes a "good quality" white bread, but with all the additional health benefits obtained from eating whole wheat bread, including reduced risks of cancer, diabetes and obesity.
The study's lead author, Dr. Alison Lovegrove, of Rothamsted Research, said the team had made progress by exploiting the results of an earlier genetic analysis of more than 150 different wheat varieties from around the world.
She said: & # 39; We knew that white flour made from a particular variety of Chinese wheat, Yumai 34, was unusually high in fiber, but not suitable for growing in the European climate.
& # 39; Using conventional breeding techniques, we cross this high fiber trait in several other varieties. This allowed us to reduce where high-fiber genes are in their genome.
Traditionally, crop varieties are improved by identifying plants with desirable traits and their reproduction.
However, the scientists explained that the problem with the high fiber content is that it is not a trait that can be identified with the naked eye, and biochemical laboratory tests are slow and expensive.
Dr. Alison Lovegrove of Rothamsted Research said that the search to increase fiber in white bread through breeding had stagnated in recent years.
Dr. Lovegrove said: "We have developed genetic markers that can easily be used by plant breeders to identify which individual wheat plants have fiber-rich genes."
That will allow them to incorporate high fiber content into elite wheat lines, and opens up the possibility of significant increases in dietary fiber intake for everyone, he added.
Dr. Lovegrove said that the quest to increase fiber in white bread through reproduction has stagnated in recent years, with several manufacturers producing breads that contain both white and whole wheat flour, or have fiber from other aggregate sources. , in an attempt to address the problem.
He added: "We hope to continue and identify other genes that increase fiber content, thus providing plant breeders, millers and food producers with even more options."
The wheat genome is much larger than the human genome: it contains six copies of each chromosome instead of the two copies that humans possess, which means that wheat has approximately 150,000 genes, compared to approximately 25,000 genes in humans.
By looking for sections of genetic code shared by plants with the high fiber trait, the team was able to locate themselves in the probable places where the high fiber genes reside.
The team expects high-fiber bread and other products made from white flour to become a staple within just five years, now that breeders have a new tool with which to filter wheat lines.
The researchers found two sites in particular, on chromosomes 1B and 6B, that were strongly linked to a high fiber content in flour.
They explained that the conventional improvement of a new wheat variety is a slow process, since breeders have to select wheat lines with high yield and disease resistance.
What is fiber?
Fiber is a carbohydrate that does not break down into sugar molecules, unlike any other carbohydrate.
Instead, fiber passes through the digestive tract and helps regulate how the body uses the other sugars that pass.
While it is recommended to get 30 grams of fiber a day, most Americans get about half of that.
There are two types of fiber to incorporate into your diet:
1) INSOLUBLE FIBER
This type cannot dissolve in water.
It helps to push food without problems through the digestive system and prevents constipation.
This group includes:
- whole grain bread
- Integral rice
- peanut (a legume)
2) SOLUBLE FIBER
This type dissolves in water.
It helps control glucose levels and blood cholesterol levels.
This group includes:
But the team expects high-fiber bread and other products made from white flour to become a staple within just five years, now that breeders have a new tool with which to filter wheat lines.
Dietary fiber describes the carbohydrates we get from plant-based foods that are not digested in the small intestine and have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving sensitivity to Insulin and the incidence of certain types of cancer.
Although the mechanisms are incompletely understood, they include a reduction in the time needed for food to pass through the intestines; binding cholesterol and carcinogens; promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestine; and reduce the rate of digestion and release of glucose in the small intestine.
Most of the fiber found in wheat grain is found in the bran, the part that is removed when producing white flour and what differentiates it from whole wheat flour.
A typical white bread slice has approximately 1 g of fiber, while the integral has approximately 3 g. A slice of a high-fiber white bread could contain up to 2 g.
The government council suggests that adults should eat about 30 g of fiber a day, but the average adult in the UK currently only eats about 18 g.
In general, wholemeal flour is considered to be much better for us, but white bread still surpasses it in sales, which represents three quarters of about 12 million breads sold in the UK every day.
The taste, appearance, shelf life and price are the main reasons why buyers prefer white bread, while the pre-packaged sandwich industry of 8 billion pounds a year prefers it, since it refrigerates better .
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