What the taste of bread in Spain has changed, more or less noticeable, in recent months it has been the talk of many groups of friends. If you noticed it too, don’t worry, it’s not related to your pituitary gland or taste buds, yes, it’s different, specifically, for a year now.
The reason for this change in the taste of bread due to the “recent” implementation of a new quality standard. This regulation, which was established to improve the quality of nutrition and the health of consumers, made important changes to the composition and production of these foods in our country.
The new bread quality standard, known as Royal Decree 308/2019, was approved in April 2019 and officially came into effect on July 1, 2019. However, to allow manufacturers to adapt to the new standards, their full application has been delayed until the last minute. Friday, April 1, 2022 This ruling brought a number of significant changes in the production and labeling of this food productseeking to improve their nutritional profile and provide consumers with more information about the products they buy.
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One of the most notable modifications concerns whole grain bread. The new standard establishes that only those products that contain exclusively whole grain flour, that is, 100% whole grain flour, can be called “whole grain bread”. This measure aims to clear up the confusion that has previously arisenwhere some products labeled “whole grain” contain only a minimal percentage of whole grain flour, reducing their nutritional value.
In addition, the standard addresses the alarming amount of salt in bread consumed in Spain. The high consumption of salt, in many cases due to the overuse of this seasoning in the production of bread, has led to severe restrictions. According to the new rules, the maximum amount of salt in this food should not exceed 1.31 grams per 100 g of bread in terms of chlorides.
When measured in terms of total sodium, the limit is set at 1.66 grams per 100 grams of bread. This is a reduction in the amount of salt present in the bread. aims to improve the cardiovascular health of consumers and reduce the risks associated with excessive sodium intake. In any case, this new salt ratio helps ensure that salt intake is in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
On its website, the body recommends limiting your daily salt intake to less than 5 grams, which is the equivalent of a teaspoon of salt. However, data from the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (Aesan) show that Spanish citizens consume an average of up to 9.8 g of salt per day. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that high sodium intake and lack of adequate potassium absorption are associated with the occurrence of arterial hypertension, as well as an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Also the norm addresses the definition and characteristics of different types of breadsuch as wholemeal bread, specialty bread, and sourdough bread, among others. In addition, requirements are set for the use of terms such as “sourdough” and “artisan” to provide greater clarity to the consumer regarding the characteristics and production methods of the various types of bread on the market.
The effects of this new rule appear to have been felt by consumers for several months, who have noticed a change in the taste of the bread. Some have commented that the food now feels more insipid than usual, reflecting the reduction in salt in its composition. While this transition may be an accommodation for many, it is important to note that this measure will promote healthier salt intake and in the long term, this will benefit the health of the population.
In addition to changes in the taste and composition of this product, this new quality standard also has a significant impact on how consumers choose and buy this type of product in supermarkets. In Spain, bread is the basis of the daily diet many people. However, until now, most of the population did not know about the differences between its different types and nutritional properties.
With regard to salt intake, a significant problem arises when eating ultra-processed foods, as many of them include a considerable amount of salt, as well as refined sugars and fats. “This high proportion of salt, intended to improve the taste of foods, has a worrying negative impact on health. In many cases, it is this hidden proportion that is the reason for exceeding established health recommendations,” emphasizes Gema Nogueira, nutritionist. dietitian specializing in eating disorders.
In addition, it is important to note that bread is another important example of how we inadvertently add large amounts of salt to our diet. In fact, when analyzing the main factors that affect sodium intake, it is clear that sausages and other meat products take the first place, followed by bread.