The Spanish do not know how to know the whole bread (and thus will remain for a while)

It does not make bread more integral to be ocuro or to contain pipes; Nor, that in his parcel be announced as such. For a bar to be considered of this type should, as dictated by logic, be elaborated at least with a percentage of wholemeal flour, something that as we have seen in the lines does not always happen. Again — As with the York ham or the melting products that are aesthetically presented as unused cheeses — the law allows for misleading phrases. For example: It is not the same "elaborated 100% with integral flour" that "elaborated with flour 100% integral"; In the second case, the claim does not promise any minimum amount (as is not required by law) of that flour.

Last February, we had in BuenaVida that this ambiguity had the days counted: the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA) prepared by then a royal decree on the quality of the bread and special breads with which it was intended That all the foods that were sold as integrals actually had a percentage of flours of that kind.

The draft, which is no longer available on the Internet, prayed: "It will be called ' Pan 100% integral ' or 'wholemeal bread' to the breads made with exclusively integral flour, excluding from this percentage the processed flours or milkshakes. The breads in which the flour used in the elaboration is not exclusively integral, will include in the denomination the mention ' made with integral flour x% ', corresponding x to the percentage of integral flour used.

What really contains the "integral" products of the supermarket

The old law, still in force, which is shipped with a brief "wholemeal bread: It is the elaborated with integral flour", gives room to that in the market we find integral bread in whose composition there is no trace of whole wheat flour. Or cereals that stand out in the packaging the legend "with wheat 100% integral", but when examining the composition we see that the main ingredient is rice and whole wheat has only 37%. or integral biscuits with only 7% of whole wheat flour, the rest is refined. Why? The law that even today regulates these products says that it must contain whole grain, but does not specify in what percentage.

The Ministry of Agriculture "has stopped the processing of the Royal Decree on quality of bread" and "has committed to assess the proposals of the artisan sector"

As BuenaVida has known, this situation is going to be prolonged in time. The new government team, responding from MAPAMA by email, "has stopped the processing of the Royal Decree on quality of bread and is committed to revise the standard elaborated by the previous team and to assess the proposals of the artisan sector and, Where appropriate, to include them after consultations relevant to all stakeholders in order to achieve a balanced standard. "

Other European countries have already put order in the sale of integrals: "Although EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) does not have specific legislation on labelling," explains Bulli, "countries like Denmark and Sweden demand in their legislation That, to use the word "integral", at least 50% of the dry content of the food comes from whole grain; The Netherlands requires that 100% of the flour be integral so that a bread can be labelled as such; And Germany is forcing this ratio to be 90% for bread and 100% for pasta. "

Why does it matter?

The bread is one of the most consumed food in Spain: 34.65 kilograms per person a year, with an average annual expenditure of 83.92 euros per person, according to MAPAMA data, which places the fresh integral as the third most sold of 2016.

If this product contains from 75% of wholemeal flour, which is the minimum percentage to observe the health benefits that studies attributed to the whole grain, according to Eva M ª Pérez Gentico, President of the Association of Graduate Dietitians of the Rioja (ADDLAR), its consumers would reduce, among others, the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

"The healthy properties attributed to whole grain cereals are mainly related to the nutrients and phytochemicals found in the bran of the grain, the outermost layer, and have a proven anti-inflammatory effect and Antioxidant, "explains Mónica Bulli Bonet, a professor and researcher at the Human Nutrition Unit of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona.

In addition, "The whole grain contributes a high fiber content, vitamins of group B, vitamin E, and magnesium, a mineral that has been related to a better metabolism of glucose and insulin, better levels of blood pressure and, in general, lower risk of suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is not surprising that the regular consumption of whole grains is related to a lower risk of mortality, "he confirms.

In Spain we do not know what is the integral bread

Health is not the only thing that has to look at the new standard. The change of taste that would experience a good number of "integral" products requires an adaptation of the palate of the Spaniards. We are accustomed "to a consumption of refined cereals, so it tends to present some rejection" to the whole grain. "a good strategy to start with the change would be to replace the refined ones by the whole grain little by little, combination with other types of foods like vegetables, condimentándolos with herbs and spices to make them tasty and healthy", suggests Monica Bull.