HL Deb 02 May 1945 vol 136 cc155-6

3.8 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the question in my name.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government (1) what is the present extraction rate of flour used in the national loaf, according as it is made of (a) home-grown wheat, or (b) imported wheat, or (c) imported flour; (2) what is the vitamin and mineral content in each case.]


My Lords, I have been asked to reply to this question on behalf of my noble friend the Minister of Reconstruction. Home-milled flour for use in the national loaf is of 80 per cent. extraction, both from home milled wheat and imported wheat. As regards imported flour, this is around 75 per cent. extraction, but it is not used separately in the production of national bread. Generally imported flour is included in national flour by mixing in at the mills with home milled flour to the extent of 15 per cent, of the total product. In Scotland a further 12½ per cent. of imported flour is permitted to be used by bakers in certain varieties of national bread. The vitamin and mineral content of wheat depends upon the variety but even with the same variety it may vary from year to year. In a recent investigation carried out jointly by the Department of Medicine, Cambridge, and the Cereals Research Station, St. Albans, average figures were obtained on samples of home-grown wheat and imported Canadian wheat. This latter contributes the bulk of our imported wheat. The figures are given in parts per million. As they are rather complicated I will have the figures circulated with the Official Report.

The figures referred to are as follows:

Canadian Wheat. Home-grown Wheat.
Vitamin B1 3.6 3.0
Riboflavin 1.7 1.7
Nicotinic acid 55 48
Iron 38 30
Calcium 275 355
Magnesium 1,410 1,060
Zinc 37 32

The imported flour which is mixed in with home milled flour is almost entirely Canadian flour. Analyses last year of a number of samples of this flour gave the following results:

B1 3.0
Riboflavin 0.75
Nicotinic acid 14
Iron 11