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BLEACHED VS UNBLEACHED FLOUR: differences in the bleaching process, price, and baking



As you may have guessed, bleaching is the process of turning flour that intense white color. Similar to what bleach does to your clothes.

Naturally, flour has yellow tinted molecules called carotenoids, which give a slightly cream color to the crop. Carotenoids are the same pigment molecules found in bright orange carrots.

Historically, consumers didn’t like this yellow colored flour. They preferred the perfectly white kind. Luckily, over many months of storage, flour will turn from yellow to white as it’s exposed to oxygen in the air.

The only problem is, flour millers don’t want to hold onto their product for several months or even up to a year. It’s expensive and requires a lot of space.

Millers wanted to find a way to get their flour on the market immediately and see a quick return in profit and chemical bleaching of flour was introduced.

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12 Comments

  1. Mr. S says:

    Bleached flour will NOT hurt or harm you. All it is, is a food grade peroxide. I've been baking bread {yes, even sour dough}, cakes, cookies etc. for years with bleached flour before unbleached flour and those hideously overhyped flours, {cough} {King Arthur and Red Mill} were commonly available. And guess what? I'm still here to tell the tale. BTW, all the baked goods turned out wonderfully. So yes, feel free to enjoy bleached flour.

  2. Mary Fuentes says:

    I really was looking about the health issues since the bleach is used and is toxic for the body especially now with the corina virus. ..Hope you will give us a better info. I really don't care about the appearance but the health issues with all the pandemic that is going on. Thanks. I got so sick right now with the covid that my body can taste the quimicals of all the products thats why I amnin the search for eating healthier products. Thanks.

  3. Ian Newcombe says:

    Question: If my grocery store has bleached and unbleached for the same price, and I make mostly bread/pizza dough, what should I buy?

  4. Ian Newcombe says:

    Great video! Informative and to the point. Very well done. One nit-pick would be to try and not raise your pitch too much at the end of sentences. But that's just a little thing, please keep making videos, I love how wholesome you are 🙂

  5. Arkane117 says:

    Do they also sell the natural yellow flour that’s not beached chemically or naturally?

  6. Al Gabsi says:

    Thank you, but what is the name of whole flour that contains flakes? I mean the flour that is made from ground ears of wheat or barley.

  7. Morris says:

    Question but would unbleached be healthier, or is the bleaching or how it gets to the white color just make them the same.

  8. Father Elijahcal says:

    The real question is: what are the health effects of eating bleach in your flour?

  9. ROBERT SIMON says:

    I am going to guess that from an health standpoint there is no major downside with bleached flour, I suppose if there were the product would be taken off the market. I have never used bleached flour but my cousin was in Costco today and picked up a 50lb bag of Bleached Bread Flour, I bake a lot of Sour Dough bread as well and several types of cookies and cakes, so I was researching if there was a downside to using bleached four. I would imagine that most commercial bread making is made with Bleached Flour. I have never spent any time reading the labels of a loaf of bread but I may do that next time I am in the market. Since I am now near 70 yrs old and don't have any major health problems I am going to guess that eating bleached flour is no worse that drinking from a garden hose , which did a lot of as a kid and now I hear that is a big no no.

  10. Dinesh Shelke says:

    I really love your observation skills and learn lot..Proud to be a foodtechie..❤️☺️

  11. Allen Cruze says:

    All this because they didn't like the color how sad

  12. Lisa Thiel says:

    Great job of putting complex terms and processes into easy to understand terminology. One suggestion is to comment on approximate extra cost of bleached vs. unbleached.

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