In 1961 the scientists at the Chorleywood Flour Milling and Bakery Association discovered that when hard fats, extra yeast and chemicals were added to dough and mixed at high speeds, bread could be made faster and cheaper using low quality, low protein British wheat. The bread was 40% softer than previous loaves and lasted twice as long.
80% of all bread is now made the Chorleywood way.
Chorleywood detractors argue that by adding three times the quantities of yeast needed to create traditional bread, the process may be responsible for the rise in bread-related digestive illness, by introducing excessive quantities of yeast to our gut flora.
Gluten is a combination of two proteins (glutenin and gliadin) found principally in wheat but also in barley and rye. Once hydrated and mixed with yeast, it helps give bread a light, airy texture.
Around 1% of the British population is gluten intolerant
In those who suffer from the medical condition ‘coeliac disease’, gluten triggers an immune reaction that damages the lining of the small intestine causing symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and headaches.
Coeliac disease is a hereditary, autoimmune disease. It is not a food allergy or intolerance.
Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK. Research suggests that around 500,000 people remain undiagnosed.
If you think you may suffer from coeliac disease, it is essential to keep eating gluten until your GP makes a medical diagnosis. This involves a simple blood test and a referral to a gastroenterologist for a gut biopsy.
Self-diagnosis is inaccurate and potentially harmful.