Cholesterol-cutting bread hits shelves

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bread, Cholesterol

UK supermarket Tesco has launched a new cholesterol-lowering loaf
to target consumers eager for a healthier alternative to standard
bread.

Bakers at the retailing giant have created a white bread fortified with oat bran - an ingredient which food scientists believe helps to lower LDL 'bad' cholesterol which clogs arteries and increases the risk of heart disease.

According to research, when too much LDL cholesterol builds up in the bloodstream the arteries leading to the brain and heart can become restricted leading to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) which is estimated to cause almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe.

The current craze for healthy loaves has seen industry manufacturers investing more in functional and nutritional breads such as high-fibre, low-carb, vitamin-fortified options.

The new Tesco loaf became available at almost half the retailers stores in Britain last week and could be introduced to the remainder by autumn if successful. At 88p (€1.30), the bread is more than three times the price of a standard loaf.

Oat bran contains the soluble fibre beta-glucan in the oat husk which helps the body break down cholesterol.

Previously a number of food producers have examined the possibility of using cholesterol-lowering ingredients such as plant sterols instead of oat bran.

In 2003, Allied Bakeries UK launched its Cholesterol bread which contained soy protein but it suffered from disappointing sales.

Tesco are not the first to use bran in bakery products, last year Dutch retailer Albert Heijn launched a loaf containing the cholesterol-beating supplement.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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