Aerated Bread


SOME remarks upon aerated bread which were made by Dr. B. W. Richardson at the recent general meeting of the company working Dr. Dauglish's patents require examination. Now it is noteworthy how imperfect our knowledge of the chemistry of the mill-products from the cereal grains still remains. Without such knowledge we are not in a position to dogmatise as to the exact nutritive values of different kinds of bread. As I pointed out in a previous article on “Real Brown Bread,”1 the statement that whole wheaten meal, bran, pollard, &c., contain more nitrogen, and therefore more flesh-formers than fine flour, rests upon no certain basis of analytical fact. And if it were proved that all the nitrogen of the most nitrogenous of mill-products does really exist in what are called albuminoids or flesh-formers, we cannot ignore the presence of much indigestible fibrous material in bran and pollard, material which is not only non-nutritive itself, but which locks up in an inaccessible form much of the real nutrient substances associated with it. Thus a sample of wheaten. bran, or rather, fine pollard, may refuse to give up to the boiling dilute acid and alkali used in fibre-determinations more than six-sevenths of its nitrogenous matter; and it can hardly be expected that the secretions of the alimentary canal will prove successful in withdrawing a larger proportion. Indeed, the analysis of the residues of such foods after having been submitted to the digestive process, has confirmed this expectation in the case of the human subject. Moreover, while a not inconsiderable part of the albuminoid matters of the outer coverings of the grain thus escapes digestion from its mechanical condition, there is good reason to believe that a further portion remains unabsorbed, by reason of the rather hurried passage of the branny particles through the digestive tract. And the same causes which operate to prevent a part of such flesh-formers as exist in the bran, from being utilised, affect also and in a similar way the useful mineral substances which abound in the coarser mill-products, as well as the oil or fat which they contain.

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