Bread is a staple in many Canadian diets, but it can also be a hindrance to a person’s health.
Aprons were replaced with lab coats, as scientific researchers worked on a project at Saskatoon’s Canadian Light Source for four years to reduce sodium in bread.
“Canadians are consuming way too much salt,” said Michael Nickerson, a Saskatchewan research chair in protein quality and utilization.
“This project looked at new ways or new strategies that we can eliminate or reduce the amount of salt that we’re consuming in bread.”
This was the most comprehensive low-sodium bread research ever done.
The team of researchers included scientists at the University of Manitoba and Canada Bread. They looked at wheat cultivars, or varieties of wheat and how they performed in low sodium dough formulas.
“Roblin And Glenn performed really nicely as good dough handling, whereas some of the weaker cultivars like Harvest became more sticky dough in the process,” Nickerson said about the different wheat cultivars tested.
The researchers said the taste, texture and overall quality of the new dough formula was the same as the normal formula.
An average loaf of bread has about 450 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams of bread. The bread baked after the research was reduced to 380 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams of bread.
Nickerson hopes Canadian bread companies consider the new findings.
“Our hope is that that’s where the industry will start moving towards… sole sourcing certain varieties that perform better in that low sodium environment,” Nickerson said.
The success of the study has also inspired the researchers to dive deeper.
“We’re also looking at using enzymes to strengthen some of the weaker cultivars,” Nickerson said.
“We’re looking at new enzyme technology that can make a stronger dough even if we’re using the weaker cultivars.”
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