Essex ingredients firm EDME calls for action on wholegrains daily servings advice

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a mem

Rye grain (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Picture: LAURA BERMAN - Credit: Laura Berman

An Essex food ingredients firm is hoping to encourage more consumers to add rye into their diets as a means of increasing their fibre intake.


Rye in bread. Picture: RED FLAME COMMUNICATIONS - Credit: Archant

Edme, based at Manningtree, is calling for the government to adopt the same policy on diet as in the USA, where servings of wholegrain are recommended as part of citizens’ daily intake, in the same way as fruit and vegetables.

The firm argues that despite a recommendation of 30g a day, Britons aren’t getting enough fibre with most people just getting just 18g, or 40% too little.

It believes more emphasis should be placed on high-fibre foods, such as rye, one of the ingredients it works with.

“We’ve all heard about getting our five a day of fruit and veg, but unlike other countries, here there’s no official recommendation for daily intake of wholegrain,” said sales director Mike Carr.

“It would really help improve knowledge and motivate people to think about fibre if the government were to recommend three to seven servings of wholegrain a day – as they do in the States.

“Fibre helps prevent heart disease and diabetes, and improves overall digestive health. It can also help reduce the risk of bowel diseases including cancer.

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“Wholegrains are rich in fibre, and can go a long way in helping people get their 30g. Rye is king of the main cereal crops, with wholegrain rye flour containing twice as much fibre as wholegrain wheat flour.”

While food manufacturers such as EDME were producing wholegrain flour, flakes, malted flakes and sprouted rye to improve the taste, texture, and appearance of the food as well as increasing its fibre content, bakers and food producers were a long way from exploiting its full potential as an ingredient, he believed, although a number were experimenting with it. “Artisan bakers are using WholeSoft Sprouted Rye to fabulous effect in sourdough, as are larger bakeries in a variety of specialty breads,” he said.

“For example, our product WholeSoft sprouted rye is a great example of taking something old, and making it new. Rye has been around for millennia, but never before has wholegrain rye been available with a sweet soft bite, without taking moisture from a bread. Even in relatively small proportions, it can transform a loaf.”