Purple bread's anthocyanins make it another superfood contender
- Purple bread could be the newest contender for a future superfood fad and the first superfood in the realm of baked goods, according to professor and purple bread inventor Zhou Weibiao, a food scientist at the National University of Singapore.
- The bread's purple color comes from anthocyanins. These provide an opportunity for manufacturers to market bread-based products as better-for-you.
- That opens up a new segment of sales opportunities targeted at health-conscious consumers and could remove the stigma that has harmed high-glycemic, fast-digesting baked goods in the past.
Anthocyanins would enable baked goods marketers to label products with the antioxidant's enticing health benefits. But by using physically transparent packaging, the vibrant purple color becomes a marketing element itself.
Separately, anthocyanins could solve manufacturers' challenges finding natural sources for certain colors when making the switch from artificial sources, as Mars currently is across its human food portfolio. This particular natural color source comes with a host of health benefits that could also add functionality and a better-for-you quality to any food or beverage.
"Despite its antioxidant capacity and associated health benefits, the knowledge of using anthocyanins as an ingredient in food products is very limited," Zhou told CNN.
This purple hue has also popped up in corn. Suntava, which produces a proprietary, non-GMO purple corn, offers the ingredient as a whole grain, corn extract, and colorant. Health claims made for purple corn include that it may protect against cancer, obesity, and inflammation, largely due to high anthocyanin content.