Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Whats in my food? #1: Flour

Sorry for the infrequent posting, but the life of a graduate student is an unpredictable one, and you just never know when you will have a chance to write.

In my last post I introduced the new topic “What’s in my food” and in this post we will be taking our first bite into the ingredients list on the back of your food package.

Why not start at the beginning? Water, we all know what that is, we all love it, and its pretty hard to consume enough of it to so any harm; though it is possible to die from water intoxication (check out this story about a woman who died from overdosing on water)

What’s next on the list? Flour for a lot of foods, again nothing to scary, we are all pretty familiar with this fluffy white powder, and many of us have a bag full sitting in the cabinet right now.
Flour is a starch made from grain and is typically used either as the main base for baked goods and the like, or used as a thickening agent (food glue). Sometimes multiple kinds of flours are used together.
However, food is not always made with the simple all purpose flour we all know, sometimes a substitute is used. Here’s a list of some other names that may be used for flour, or other ingredients that may be used in place of it (please note this is not a comprehensive list, but it is meant to give you an idea of how one thing can have many names):

Flour and its alternate names:
-          Flour
-          Enriched Flour
-          Bleached Flour
-          Wheat Flour
-          Barley Flour
-          Rice Flour
-          Corn Flour

Flour substitutes/things that are like flour:
-          whole wheat
-          whole grain wheat
-          wheat bran
-          wheat germ
-          whey
-          corn starch
-          modified corn starch
-          whey corn starch
-          corn meal
-          milled corn

As always if there are any questions, please leave me a comment; if you have an item to add to the list, you can leave a comment as well.

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