Bleached and unbleached flours and other grains play a critical role in bread bakeries. Try out their nutritional content and experience their effect on your body.
Flour is one of the common commodities found in both local and online shops. People are always eager to get the right flour from the supermarket for their baking. The flour comes in different types, making it challenging for people to choose safe and incredible ones for their recipe. Flour can be categorized into two; Bleached and Unbleached flour. People have different preferences when it comes to choosing the best flour. Still, their difference is guided by common factors discussed herein. Get to know the differences, uses, and safety of both bleached and unbleached flour.
Differences between Bleached and Unbleached Flour
Different aspects differentiate bleached and unbleached flour, among them taste, texture, appearance, and processing.
Processing is one of the notable differences that make it easy to separate bleached from unbleached flour. Literally, the flour has different processing methods, that is why it is not challenging to identify them. The bleached flour is basically refined, thus getting rid of all the germ and bran. Also, vitamins and minerals rarely survive during processing. This leaves the flour only with the endosperm.
Unbleached, on the other hand, is great since it contains any flour that is not refined. Both bleached and unbleached flour is grinded into fine powder. Then bleached flour is treated using chemicals such as peroxide, benzoyl, chlorine, or potassium bromate. The treatment is meant for speeding up the flour’s aging. Moreover, the aging of flour improves baking qualities. The addition of chemicals in the flour interferes with the final product, taste, and texture.
The unbleached flour is not treated since it ages naturally. This takes place after processing. However, the aging process takes longer compared to the bleaching process. The distinct texture of the unbleached flour makes it perfect hence applied in a certain recipe. This is what makes these two different from the other. Also, the unbleached flour maintains most of the nutrients, taste, and texture because of its aging process, unlike the bleached. But they are both used in different fields, making both great in their own way.
Bleaching the flour comes with different changes, especially regarding the taste, flour appearance, and texture. The features of the flour matter a lot for those who want to have the best bake. In unbleached flour, the pure white color is bout about by the chemicals used during processing. Also, the chemicals change the flour to a softer texture and finer grain.
Conversely, the unbleached flour features a tougher texture and denser grain, making it extremely different from bleached flour. Also, unbleached flour is off-white that fades naturally over time. There might be a slight and minimal difference between these two. Still, it’s not challenging to identify the bitterness that comes with bleached flour.
The value of nutrients in bleached and unbleached flour is nearly identical. Surprisingly, both flour varieties have the same calories, proteins, fiber, carbs, and fat. However, the content of vitamin E in bleached flour might be decreased slightly. In unbleached white flour, the amount of vitamin is minimal, but the amount is less than 2% of the normal value needed (125 grams).
The unbleached, unrefined wheat can be richer in numerous essential nutrients needed in the body for proper functioning. Also, whole-wheat flour contains more manganese, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and copper. This is what makes it the right source of nutrients for your boy. Moreover, the bleached and unbleached flours are also rich in B vitamins, including niacin, folate, thiamine, and vitamin B6.
The bleached four undergoes treatment using different chemical agents that help speed up aging, as said earlier. Unfortunately, the safety of the chemicals used in this flour is always in question. For instance, potassium bromate is an addictive applied in baking bread linked to cancer and kidney disease. This is according to researches done on animals. Consequently, the chemical is illegal in states like Canada, Argentina, Nigeria, Brazil, and European Union. However, United States remains to be the only country that’s widely using potassium bromate.
On the other hand, Benzoyl peroxide is the most recognized food addictive by most states for its safety and effectiveness. Luckily, it is recommended by Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). This makes it good for your health. However, other animal studies find it harmful to the antioxidant status. Also, it tends to break down some food nutrients such as fatty acids.
Generally, consider revisiting the current researches on test-tube and animal studies before using any chemical for your safety. Still, the research is limited on the effects of high doses of most of these chemicals in the body. Therefore, there is still a need for more studies to know if it is safe to consume bleached flour in normal amounts. Importantly, avoid using the bleached four if you have less information on what you need to consume for safety.
Their features in different perspectives make them legible for different recipes. The bleached flours have finer grains, which are perfect for absorbing more liquid. This works perfectly for foods such as pancakes, cookies, quick bread, pie crusts, and waffles. Meanwhile, the unbleached flour with a denser grain is perfect for baking foods that hold shape better. This makes the flour great for foods like éclairs, popovers, puff potatoes, and yeast breads.
That said, the bleached and unbleached flours can be used perfectly without interchanging alternating them in most baked foods. Also, no adjustment is needed at any point or in your recipe during baking. Furthermore, remember to use the flours on their right field to avoid the wrong end products.
The aging process of bleached flour is speeded up with chemicals while unbleached flour ages naturally. This makes it easy for you to differentiate them when in need. Also, both varieties differ in appearance, potential uses, and texture. Oft for unbleached white flour and help prevent your body from chemical exposure. Choose wisely!