Friday, 24 February 2012

Beware of White Processed Foods

Not many natural foods are white except for potatoes, onions and coconuts. No processed foods would be white except for the processes they deliberately go through in order to make them so. Derivative products such as white bread, cakes, crackers, pastries and donuts derive their colour from the white flour they are made from. White rice gets its colour from a process applied in the making of the end product.

White flour is made from wheat that has several pesticides applied to it whist growing in the field. A wheat grain kernel is composed of three layers: the bran, the germ and the endosperm layer. During the milling process, the bran is first removed which contains all the fibre; the germ is then removed which contains most of the nutrients and fats; only the core endosperm layer is kept which is mostly starch.

The starchy flour is then given a chlorine gas bath in order to bleach it and make it white. Chlorine gas is a flour bleaching and oxidising agent that is a powerful irritant that is dangerous to inhale. The chlorine gas reacts with the flour to oxidise it and make it white. But it also converts a dough additive called xanthine into a toxic substance called alloxan. The latter is a toxin which destroys pancreatic islet cells resulting in diabetes. Alloxan has been used in lab tests to deliberately induce diabetes in rats. Trace elements of alloxan are left in the end product.

After all that, the manufacturer then introduces synthetic vitamins and minerals to enrich the product which are inferior to the natural ones removed in the first instance; and the end product it left without any fibre at all.

White rice goes through a similar process to white flour: in which the rice that comes off the paddy fields goes through a process known as husking to remove the outer and inner husks; the grain is then bleached and polished to make it white; lots of essential nutrients are lost in the process; and then inferior synthetic ones are added back. The end product is left severely deficient in nutrients and containing no fibre at all.

People purchasing white rice, or products made from white flour, need to be educated on how these products are made. Most purchasers associate the colour white with cleanliness and wholeness, but as we have seen above nothing could be further from the truth. 

Consumers could do the following in order to combat the health hazards outlined above: boycott all derivative products made from white flour; in the case of bread, only purchase wholemeal bread; avoid  purchasing white rice; and on visits to restaurants where rice is a constituent part of the meal, insist on brown rice being served.   


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  2. Thanks for your comment. What I have highlighted in this post are health hazards unnecessarily created by food processing, which I am glad you found to be useful information.

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