Is ‘Purple Bread’ the Future of Bread?
The best thing since sliced bread might be… purple bread? According to CNN, Professor Zhou Weibia, a food scientist at the National University of Singapore, has created an all-natural but purple-hued version of the bane of many diets that he hopes can make bread healthier to eat – a product the news site dubbed perhaps “the first superfood of the baked goods world.”
Purple bread’s innovation is the addition of anthocyanin extracted from black rice. Not only is this extra ingredient known for its antioxidant qualities, but it also undergoes a chemical reaction with the starch enzymes in bread that slows down digestion by 20 percent. The hope is that purple bread’s slower digestion rate will help curb the blood sugar spikes associated with white bread – all without sacrificing the bread’s beloved texture. “If you want to enjoy the texture of white bread and slow down digestion, this is probably the best formula,” Zhou told CNN. “And the color isn't bad, either.” Interestingly, taste never gets mentioned, a slightly suspicious oversight, though anthocyanins are often described as “nearly flavorless.”
One thing purple bread doesn’t cut, however, is calories. “You are eating the same amount of starch and wheat flour, so the nutritional value is the same,” said Zhou. “The key idea here is slowing down the energy release, so you use those calories over a longer period of time.”
Regardless if all this talk of purple bread leaves you excited or skeptical, you don’t have to worry about choosing white, wheat or purple on your next deli sandwich just yet. Purple bread isn’t commercially available just yet, though Zhou said he has talked to some major food manufacturers. In the meantime, you’ll just have to eat bread the old-fashioned way: with guilt.