Review: Wonder Bread Whole-Grain WhitePosted on Mar 2nd 2011 2:00PM by Keri Glassman
The familiar taste and look of Wonder bread is here again, with an apparent dose of health this time. Wonder bread's whole-grain white bread has upped its ante and, as the label states, is a good source of fiber and calcium, with less sodium than regular white bread and 8 grams of whole grains. Is it possible to have the same amazing benefits of true whole-grain bread but still maintain that old-world white look and feel? Or is this new product simply Too Good to Be Food? Let's see.
Soy fiber is added to increase the fiber content. Sounds like a good thing, but unfortunately, it doesn't come without controversy. While whole soy (for example, edamame) has many health benefits when consumed in moderation, there is research as to the potential dangers associated with the process of creating products such as soy fiber and soy protein isolate. Processed soy, thumbs down!
Calcium sulfate is a safe preservative to prevent the growth of mold and also ups the calcium content. No complaints here.
Next up, a long list of ingredients that are added in small quantities. Honey, salt, vinegar and barley malt are added for flavor, preservation and texture. The first is soybean oil that helps create a tender bread.
Okay, now here is where you either put the product back on the shelf if you are reading the label or your eyes glaze over and throw it in your cart. These words look too hard to pronounce to be food. Sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, calcium propionate and monocalcium phosphate are all safe additives and commonly used in bread production for their emulsifying and preservation powers. Great news here! These additives help to maintain just the right environment to facilitate the many and rather fragile chemical reactions that occur in bread formation.
Similarly, yeast nutrients (ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate) are necessary to feed the yeast and kick-start the fermentation process. Yeast enzymes and yeast extract help speed up the fermentation process and improve the final bread product.
Azodicarbonamide -- don't try saying this one with a mouth full of bread -- is a controversial food additive that has been approved for use in the U.S. but has been banned in other countries due to potential carcinogenic effects. Need I say more? Bread certainly doesn't need this to be packaged and put on shelves.
The last group of ingredients are mostly vitamins and minerals added to boost nutrient content: B vitamins [thiamine mononitrate (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), folic acid, vitamin B12], vitamin E acetate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate (iron), calcium dioxide, vitamins D and E, zinc, iron and calcium.
Finally, soy lecithin, soy flour and whey are included for emulsification, increased protein content and texture. Since we discussed soy already, I'll let you decide here.
Nationally recognized nutrition expert and published author of "The O2 Diet," Keri Glassman is the founder and president of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City. For years, Keri has been a leader in advancing a "whole person" approach to health and wellness. She has dedicated her career to creating services and promoting education through her Nutritious Life brand. You can be friends with Keri on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.