The study, conducted jointly by The Scientific and Technological Institute of Navarra (ICT) and the bakery group Berlys, is due to be completed by the end of the year.
"Bread is a high nutritional-density food, but consumption in Spain remains relatively low because people mistakenly stay away from carbohydrates to prevent putting on weight. However, bread only has a moderate calorie content and is essential in a healthy diet," said researcher Professor Marta Cuervo.
The researchers say the average Spanish diet is high in protein and fat, but low in carbohydrate and fibre, the intake of which is often below the minimum recommended levels.
Director of the study Professor Alfredo Martinez emphasises the need for Spanish consumers to have a more diverse intake of carbohydrate-rich foods, including bread, cereals and vegetables.
The study, which confirms the nutritional value of bread in relation to a healthy diet, examines levels of minerals- phosphor, magnesium, calcium, iron, iodine and zinc- and vitamins- thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pyridoxine- present in bread, with particular emphasis on wholegrain bread.
The researchers will also examine how water loss in stored frozen bread may result in increased consistencies of fat, protein and nutrients.
"We are investigating how bread composition varies with time, concentrating specifically on the water, fat, protein and nutrient levels in frozen bread," Professor Cuervo told BakeryAndSnacks.com, but could not reveal any further information before the completion of the research.
Although earlier studies have shown how localized dehydration may occur- usually in exposed bread- moisture loss would have to reach significant levels in order to make a marked difference on the product's overall formulation.