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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between white, split-top, butter-top wheat and whole grain bread? Does whole grain flour have health benefits?

Anne Crotty, United States

Split-top and butter-top bread are just names for different types of bread. It does not say anything about the flour which was used to bake it. In the butter-top bread butter was added. Split-top bread has usually a rectangular loaf which is split on the top.

You have to check the ingredients whether white flour or wholemeal flour was used. These are the two main types of wheat flour: the wholemeal and the white flour. In the production of wholemeal flour the whole grain is used. This type of flour has an extraction rate of 100%, which means nothing is removed during milling. White flour is refined. The bran and nutrient-packed germ are separated from the rest of the grain and so many nutrients are removed.

And there are different types of flour between these two main types. It is commonly called “brown flour” and has a higher extraction rate than white flour. It contains more bran and this gives the flour a darker colour.The wholemeal flour contains all parts of the grain, the fibre-rich bran (outer layer), endosperm (middle layer) and the nutrient-packed germ (inner layer). The bran provides fibre, B vitamins, minerals, protein and other phytochemicals.

The Endosperm contains carbohydrates, proteins and small amounts of B vitamins. The Germ is packed with minerals, B vitamins, vitamin E and other phytochemicals.Whole grain foods are an important part of the diet because they provide many nutrients. The regular consumption of whole grain foods has been linked by researchers to a reduction of several diseases including heart disease and cancer, especially colon cancer.

Wholegrain power


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 25/05/2016
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