The law relating to the labelling of bread and flour is governed by the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998.
Composition of flour
The Regulations contain specific requirements as to the composition of flour derived from wheat. Unless the flour is wholemeal flour, self-raising flour which has a calcium content of not less than 0.2% or is wheat malt flour the flour must contain the following ingredients:
- between 235 and 390 milligrams per hundred grams of flour of calcium carbonate, which must conform with certain criteria;
- at least 1.65 milligrams per hundred grams of flour of iron (there are certain criteria which must be met as to the composition of iron);
- at least 0.24 milligrams per hundred grams of flour of thiamin (vitamin B1), which again must meet certain criteria; and
- at least 1.60 milligrams per hundred grams of flour of nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, which again must meet certain criteria.
The sale or import of any flour which does not comply with these requirements is prohibited. However, the Regulations do not apply to the sale and importation of flour for use in the manufacture of communion wafers, matzos, gluten, starch or any concentrated preparation of calcium carbonate, iron, thiamine, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.
The Regulations prohibit the use of flour bleaching agents and flour treatment agents as an ingredient in the preparation of flour and bread unless the agent used is of a type specifically permitted by the Regulations.
The types of flour bleaching agents and flour treatment agents permitted by the Regulations are as follows:
- E220 sulphur dioxide (this is permitted in relation to flour used in the manufacture of biscuits and pastry except for wholemeal. However, the total quantity cannot exceed 200 millgrams per kilogram of flour); E223 sodium metabisuphite (this is permitted in relation to flour used in the manufacture of biscuits and pastry except for wholemeal.
For more information on:
- Use of the words “wholemeal” and “wheat germ”
- Offences and penalties