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How to read bakery and baked goods labels

Have you ever walked down the bakery aisle of the supermarket only to find out that there are simply too many products? Or have you ever wondered why there is such a big price difference among products that theoretically seem to be the same?

Knowing how to read bakery labels is the best tool for evaluating the real quality of what we buy and eat.
How to read bakery labels: bread
How to read bakery labels in order to prepare a nutritious breakfast

Let's take as an example one of the most popular breakfast bakery products for breakfast: rusks.

There are various types of rusks: normal, kamut, wholemeal, barley malt or even five-grain rusks. There are also rusks made with refined or whole grain flours, with low glycaemic index as well as those that are high in fibre and energy.

Although there is a wide selection to choose from, picking the most suitable bakery product can still be challenging. So let's start with the first step: reading the label carefully. In fact, the product label includes all the nutritional information which can help us make a more informed choice.
How to read bakery labels: labels
Comparing different labels

Let's compare three different types of rusks and let’s take a closer look at their labels.
  1. Label example: wheat flour, yeast, sunflower oil, sugar, corn and barley malt extract, salt, malted wheat flour. No colouring agents and no hydrogenated fats.
This product contains refined white flour and sunflower oil which, unlike extra virgin olive oil, does not provide any nutritional value. In addition, the presence of salt, which, ideally, should be limited makes the quality of this product lower.
  1. Label example: Whole wheat flour 97.2%, soluble wheat fibre 1.3%, yeast, sugar, palm oil, malted cereal flour, flour treatment agent: ascorbic acid.
This product is mainly made from whole wheat flour. However, there is one negative factor:  the presence of palm oil, also known as saturated fat.
  1. Label example: Kamut Khorasan flour 81%, whole grain Kamut Khorasan flour 10%, extra virgin olive oil 5%, yeast, sea salt. May contain traces of milk and sesame. It contains natural sugars.  
This raw, unrefined product with organic ingredients is definitely the best of the three. If you read the nutritional label carefully, you might think that these are the least interesting or famous rusks. But, in reality, they are the most suitable and nutritious rusks for daily consumption.
How to read bakery labels: marmelade
Now that we have our rusks, what about combining them with a delicious organic jam made from South Tyrolian apples, or even better, honey, which is an excellent natural antibiotic?

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