Glycemic impact and health: new horizons in white bread formulations

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Dec;51(10):965-82. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.491584.


The challenge of provision of a much wider range of foods of relatively low glycemic response than is currently available, especially in terms of cereal products, has been highlighted in recent years and this has particular relevance to bread consumption. Although there has been some transition to brown bread consumption, white bread remains a firm feature in the typical average western diet. This review first outlines the relationship between the glycemic impact of foods and health. What is important is that relatively small differences in glycemic potency of regularly consumed starch foods have been shown to have beneficial effects on health outcomes. Second, factors affecting glycemic response with particular application to white bread formulations are discussed. Novel ways of reformulating this highly favored carbohydrate staple, by using composite flours, with the aim of developing products of reduced glycemic response are highlighted in this review. Importantly, a new and significant focus on the role of unavailable carbohydrate in glycemic improvement is emerging. This has important application in increasing accessibility to health benefits by contributing to the prevention of and management of glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and associated chronic disease to a wider range of consumers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Bread / analysis*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Edible Grain
  • Flour / analysis
  • Food*
  • Food, Organic
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Starch / administration & dosage


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Starch