We love bread’s soft, fluffy texture, but it’s gotten a bad rap lately for being a not-so-healthy source of energy. Carb lovers like me don’t have to give up hope, though, because a food scientist in Singapore may have found a loophole. Professor Zhou Weibiao has created a loaf with the texture of white bread that keeps you full longer. And that bread is purple, which is certainly one way to add some pizzazz to your National French Bread Day celebrations (yes, it’s a holiday, and yes, it’s today).
The key is anthocyanin, a pigment found in many antioxidant-rich superfoods, including grapes and blueberries. It has been found to prevent certain cardiovascular and neurological diseases and to help control diabetes.
Professor Zhou Weibiao discovered that by extracting anthocyanins from black rice and adding them to regular wheat bread, he could create a better-for-you bread.
Adding anthocyanins to a standard bread recipe results in a purple bread with the same texture as white bread’s. But what makes it really special isn’t the color — it’s a chemical reaction that happens between the anthocyanins and starch in the bread. This reaction creates a bread that is digested 20 percent more slowly than plain white bread, and it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike. You stay full longer while getting an antioxidant boost at the same time.
It sounds like a win-win to me. And let’s be honest — purple bread is way more Instagram-worthy than a standard white slice, so what’s not to love?
Purple bread isn’t available in stores yet, but apparently some major food companies have expressed interest. Who knows? Maybe by this time next year we’ll all be chowing down on guilt-free purple toast like it’s the most normal thing in the world. Hey, I’m game for anything that makes eating bread a smart choice.