The team from the University of Reading led by Jeremy Spencer, Professor of Molecular Nutrition and agricultural research institute, Rothamsted Research, added an enzyme commonly used by the drinks industry to the bread, raising levels of micronutrient ferulic acid by more than five times.
During a clinical trial published in Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate an improved bread saw the same short-term boost to their vascular function as gained from eating blueberries.
Jeremy Spencer said:
“While there is a growing recognition that foods like berries or green tea have a positive benefit for human health due to the presence of polyphenols, we recognise that there are barriers for much of the population to consume amounts of these that may have a significant impact on their health.
“Our study shows that there are ways that we can subtly change the characteristics of staple foods such as bread to increase the positive micronutrients found in them.”