What if bread did not cause blood sugar to rise in diabetics? Although gluten might still be an issue, the opportunity to eat break without an unhealthy rise in blood sugar would be welcome to a lot of people. Professor Zhou Weibiao of National University of Singapore have created a bread formula that does just that: by adding a plant pigment from black rice, anthocyanin, they were able to slow digestion rates by 12.8% with just 1% anthrocyanin.
When the formula was altered to include 4%, the digestion rate was even slower, dropping to an amazing 20.5%, the digestion rate was even slower, dropping to 20.5 percent.
Starches break down during digestion to glucose and rapid breakdown is accompanied by rapid rise in blood sugar. Anthocyanin can inhibit digestive enzymes so digestion takes longer and blood sugar rises more slowly. This innovation, in effect, lowers the glycemic index (the amount a food makes blood sugar rise) of bread.
Health proponents know anthrocyanin for its powerful antioxidant impact. Although it is not legal in the US to use the word “Prevent” with regard to nutrients, scientific investigation has suggested that anthrocyanin has a positive impact on the lack of development of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, cancer and inflammation at many sites in the body.
Anthrocyanins, one of a class of compounds important to health called “flavinoids”, can also be found in most dark and brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as berries, purple sweet potatoes, beets, etc.
This antioxidant capacity was first noted when the University of Singapore team noted that 8% the antioxidant capacity of anthrocyanins were retained in the bread crust and crumbs even when it was baked at 464° F for 12 minutes.
The team has high hopes for helping diabetics with anthropocentric-rich foods. “Our results demonstrate that it is indeed feasible to create functional food products through anthocyanin fortification, using bread as an example,” says Prof Zhou. “We hope to conduct further studies to incorporate anthocyanins into other food items, such as biscuits. Our team is also keen to explore opportunities to work with industry partners to introduce the anthocyanin-fortified bread to the market.”
Source: October 2015 issue, Food Chemistry.