Paul asked for a breakdown of Flat Out’s Flatbreads. More specifically, their 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat. We’ll gladly oblige.
First, a few words about flatbreads. They are not a new invention, and have been used in various cultures for ages. Examples include Indian naan bread and chapati, Mexican tortilla, Jewish Matzo, South Asian Roti, Middle Eastern pita, and even pizza and pancakes!
Some are leavened (dough rises) and some are not. Flatbreads have become popular in the past few years, perhaps because they are thin and people believe they are healthier than bread.
Now back to Harvest Wheat – 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat…
What you need to know:
A single serving of this flatbread is 2 ounces, and contains 120 calories. This is a bit lower than most whole wheat breads (around 150 calories). We like the high fiber count – 6 grams. We estimate that half comes from the flour, the rest from added ingredients such as flax seed and cracked wheat.
Sadly, the sodium here is on the high side – 310 mg, which is 13% of the daily max. A serving of bread should really be less than 200mg per 2 slice serving / 1 wrap.
Next, the ingredients list. Decoding the ingredient lists of bakery products is always a challenge. While bread can be made with just 4 ingredients (flour, water, leavener, and salt) there are so many more ingredients used in commercial bread that it is mind boggling.This product is no exception. Here is the ingredient list for our flatbread:
STONE GROUND WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, LIQUID BROWN SUGAR, OAT FIBER, SOY FLOUR contains less than 2% of each of the following: SOYBEAN OIL, PRUNE JUICE CONCENTRATE, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA, OATS, SUNFLOWER SEEDS, YEAST, POTASSIUM SORBATE & SODIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVES), CARAMEL COLOR, CELLULOSE GUM, MILLET, FUMARIC ACID, FLAX SEED, SALT, GUAR GUM, SEA SALT, CRACKED WHEAT, XANTHAN GUM, LACTIC ACID, CARRAGEENAN, CALCIUM SULFATE, CULTURE WHEAT STARCH, ANNATTO COLOR, ENZYMES, L-CYSTEINE. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY. MANUFACTURED IN A FACILITY THAT PROCESSES PRODUCTS CONTAINING MILK AND CHEESE.
Explanation of some of the ingredients:
Vital wheat gluten – natural protein found in wheat. It contains 75% protein. A small amount added to yeast bread recipes improves the texture and elasticity of the dough. This is often used by commercial bakeries to produce light textured breads
Disodium pyrophosphate / sodium acid pyrophosphate – react with the baking soda when the dough is being baked and cause it to rise.
Potassium sorbate and sodium propionate – preservatives used to inhibit molds and yeasts in many foods, including baked goods. If you were to bake at home you wouldn’t need these, but commercially sold breads would spoil too quickly without these.
Fumaric acid - an “acidity regulator” derived from plants but also prepared industrially. It reacts with the baking soda to leaven the dough. Also behaves as an antioxidant.
Calcium sulfate – better known as plaster of Paris – is a clear white rock found in nature. Used here as a dough conditioner, and to firm up the wrap.
Prune Juice Concentrate – a natural preservative that extends the shelf life of bread products. It also sweetens and colors them.
Bottom line: We’d be cool with this product if it weren’t for the high sodium content.
What to do at the supermarket:
It is very difficult to generalize when it comes to bakery items. The selection is so vast, with many sub categories. The important thing to look for is 100% whole wheat options. Ingredient list tend to be long, so you need to look at the nutrition facts panel as well to ascertain 3 or more grams of fiber, less than 200 mg of salt (tough), and less than 1 or 2 grams of sugar.