When we're baking bread at our Warburtons' bakeries, the same base ingredients (flour, water, yeast and salt) are used in all bread recipes:
The wheat which we use to produce our flour is produced under contract with farmers in the UK and Canada. We've been working with the same farmers for over 15 years, meaning we are able to achieve outstanding quality.
We specify the varieties grown and the optimum protein levels that we require for baking our bread and to ensure that quality is maintained.
The blend of wheat we use gives us the combination of the qualities we look for in our bread in terms of taste, softness and freshness. Our established sources of supply mean that we can consistently maintain these qualities.
Yeast is used in baking as a leavening agent, which means that it helps the dough to expand or rise. The yeast converts the fermentable sugars present in our dough into the gas carbon dioxide. This forms bubbles or pockets within the dough, causing it to rise and creating the soft spongy texture we are all familiar with in our bread.
The salt we use in the baking process plays an important role in the dough formation, fermentation rate and flavour of the final product. We recognise the health concerns of our consumers around their salt intake, and have taken steps to reduce the amount of salt we use without compromising on quality or taste.
While technologically challenging, we have worked hard and invested in meeting the 2012 Government's voluntary Responsibility Deal targets and all our products have salt levels of 400mg of sodium per 100g or below.
Water plays a critical role in binding together all the other base ingredients.
In addition to these base ingredients, we use a small number of other ingredients that enable us to bake 2 million products a day, products that will both remain fresh and provide great value for our consumers. Other ingredients in Warburtons bread include:
We use a small amount of fat, added for improved dough structure and softness in the finished bread. We don't use any hydrogenated or trans fats.
A natural whitener which improves the colour of white bread. It works well with oxygen to strengthen the dough and provides support and structure during baking. All our soya flour is identity preserved.
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
This captures the oxygen during mixing, helping to improve dough processing, strength and the volume of bread we can produce.
This is a preservative used due to its ability to inhibit mould growth and provide us with a 6-day shelf life. The amount permitted in bread is controlled by European regulations.
Hugely important in the processing of the dough, emulsifiers work with the gluten to provide structure, gas retention, volume and softness.
These are naturally present in small quantities in yeast and flour, and additional enzymes are added during dough mixing. Enzymes help produce well-risen, soft loaves which keep well. Enzymes are destroyed by heat during the baking process and therefore are regarded as a processing aid, and in accordance with EU legislation are not required to be labelled in the ingredients list.
Seeds and Dried Fruit
We have a number of products that are baked using seeds or fruits including our Seeded Batch, Seeded Wraps and Thins, Teacakes and Orange Fruit Loaf. The mix of seeds or fruits we use will vary upon the product, but they are always clearly labelled on pack. Seeds include, sunflower seeds, brown and golden linseed, millet seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, kalonji seeds and poppy seeds. Dried fruits include: sultanas, currants, cranberries.
Like many other manufacturers, Warburtons uses poppy seeds in some of its products which it clearly details on the packaging. Poppy seeds are an essential part of the seed blend used to give products their unique taste and texture.
Poppy seeds pose no threat to health but it is commonly known that they can contain very small traces of opiates, which can be detected during routine drug testing due to the sensitivity of the testing method used. Even consuming opiate medicine, such as headache tablets containing codeine, could result in a positive test result.
Should opiates be detected during routine testing, Warburtons, following advice from the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, would recommend individuals to request a more in-depth drug test. It is also advised that individuals make it clear prior to testing if they have consumed products containing poppy seeds.
Flour treatment agent (E920)
Warburtons uses a flour treatment agent (E920) in some baked goods. The E920 that we use is synthetically produced through
natural fermentation or enzymic processes using raw materials of vegetable
origin or pure organic, non animal, compounds. All of our baked goods are 100% suitable for vegetarians.
To make our diverse range of products, we also use other ingredients which may not be listed here but will be included on pack. These include; malted wheat, barley, barley flakes, kibbled pearl, butter ghee, malt extract, yoghurt powder and malted oat flakes. If you have any questions about one of our ingredients, please do contact our customer care team.
We help consumers make an informed choice when purchasing our products, by including ingredients, allergens, best-before date and the weight of the product on the pack. We comply with the Government's Food Labelling Regulations on the labelling of wrapped bread. We also provide Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) so that consumers can understand how our products can fit into their daily diet.
Consumers can be confident that everything we put in our products in safe and serves a useful purpose. As a family business, we don't use any ingredients in our food that we wouldn't happily eat ourselves.