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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-27

Prevalence of using baking soda in different types of most commonly consumed breads by Iranian people


1 Gastroenterology and Hepatology Diseases Research Center, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran
2 Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran

Date of Web Publication5-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Mahdi Asadi-Ghalhari
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/AIHB.AIHB_53_17

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  Abstract 


Background: Nowadays, in most bakeries in order to accelerate bread production process and reduce work pressure on bakers, harmful chemicals like baking soda are in use. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of using baking soda in different types of most commonly consumed breads by Iranian people. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out on 234 bakeries in Qom, Iran, during 2017. The proportional stratified sampling method was used to select bakeries and bakers in different districts of Qom. Age, bakery experience, education of bakers and bread's pH were collected by a questionnaire and an electrical pH meter. Results: The results showed that seventy bakeries (29.9%) of Qom were using baking soda in bread. The highest frequent use of baking soda was observed in Taftoon (38.7%) and Lavash bread (31.5%). There was a significant difference between the use of baking soda and demographic variables such as age and literacy level. The attitude and knowledge of bakery employees about the complications of the baking soda were not appropriate. Conclusions: To reduce the use of baking soda and improve their knowledge and attitude, there is a need of strict supervision and monitoring by responsible organisations, especially the Ministry of Health.

Keywords: Baker, baking soda, bread


How to cite this article:
Mohammadbeigi A, Salehi A, Izanloo H, Ghorbani Z, Vanaki V, Ramazani R, Asadi-Ghalhari M. Prevalence of using baking soda in different types of most commonly consumed breads by Iranian people. Adv Hum Biol 2018;8:24-7

How to cite this URL:
Mohammadbeigi A, Salehi A, Izanloo H, Ghorbani Z, Vanaki V, Ramazani R, Asadi-Ghalhari M. Prevalence of using baking soda in different types of most commonly consumed breads by Iranian people. Adv Hum Biol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Sep 25];8:24-7. Available from: https://www.aihbonline.com/text.asp?2018/8/1/24/222248




  Introduction Top


Bread, as an inexpensive source of energy and the most important wheat product, is the staple food of people in the Middle Eastern countries.[1] It provides as much as 50%–90% of a large proportion of daily required energy of people living in the cities and villages.[2],[3] It is one of the most important foods in the Iranian diet. A characteristic of the Iranian families' diet is the dependence on bread as the major energy source. According to research conducted at national level in Iran, bread provides on an average for 46.2% of the total energy of an urban person and 59.3% of the total energy consumption of a rural person, which is much higher than the world average.[1],[4]

Almost 60%–65% of the protein and calories and nearly 2.3 g of minerals come from bread, which is in the case of its complete fermentation. Traditional breads in Iran are flat breads such as Taftoon, Barbari, Lavash and Sangak, which are mainly produced from soft white wheat flours with different extraction rates usually at 87%, 81%, 80% and 95%–97%, respectively, with little or no fermentation.[5],[6]

In the combination of wheat and flour, there is a complex acid called phytic acid that combines with minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium, making them insoluble in water and thus preventing the absorption of wheat minerals.[7] Phytic acid can be inactivated by the phytase enzyme that occurs during fermentation process.[5]

Three types of fermentation using sour starter, baking soda and active dry yeast have been customary in Iran.[1],[7] Despite the ban on the use of baking soda by the Ministry of Health since 2001, some reports indicate persistent use of this material in bakeries.[8],[9] Active dry yeast is using common material in bread and has substituted for sour starter and soda in many small bakeries. However, soda is still used extensively to dough as a substitute for natural fermentation process. In many bakeries of the Middle East, soda is used at the proportion of 1%.[5],[9] Recently, studies have shown that only 45%–55% of the bakeries in Iran use industrial yeast or leaven and the amount of baking soda in bread varies from 2 to 47%.[1],[2],[10]

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate [NaHCO3]) is a white crystal powder or granule with a molecular weight of 84.0 that releases carbon dioxide (CO2) at baking temperatures >60°C and helps dough rise. This innovation eliminates the need for dough rest time and reduces work pressure on bakers but is not healthy and changes colour and flavour of bread and it can be a cause of gastritis, peptic ulcer, malnutrition, increased blood pressure, allergies and other chronic diseases.[8],[9],[11] In addition, soda has alkaline properties that increase pH which in turn reduces some nutrients such as Vitamins B1, B2, B12 and C in food.[4],[7]

Some studies about the use of baking soda in bread have previously been conducted in Iran.[11],[12] Despite the numerous advantages of yeast, studies have shown that only 45%–55% of the bakeries in Iran use industrial yeast or leaven and the amount of baking soda in breads has been reported to vary at the range of 2%–47%.[1],[9] The knowledge of bakeries has been inadequate in terms of the consequences of use of soda baking in bread. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of investigating the use of soda baking in Qom bakeries and accessing the knowledge and attitude of bakers about the disadvantages of using soda baking in bread.


  Materials and Methods Top


This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 234 bakeries of Qom district. Demographic data including age, bakery experience, education and Baker's attitude towards complication of using soda baking were collected by a researcher-based questionnaire. The content validity of the used questionnaire was assessed by expert evaluations. Reliability of the questionnaire was checked by Cronbach's alpha.

The main outcome in this study was assessing the use of baking soda in different types of Iranian breads consumed commonly by Iranian people. The proportional stratified sampling method was used to select bakeries in different districts of Qom, the central city of Iran. Based on sampling schedule, the detailed numbers of different bakeries were selected for testing baking soda including ‘Taftoon’ (31), ‘Barbari’ (47), ‘Lavash’ (146) and ‘Sangak’ (10). Samples with specifications including site and date of sampling were randomly collected from all bakeries and sent to the laboratory to determine the pH. In that way, 10 g of each bread sample was weighed in a clean dish and 190 mL of distilled water was then added. The sample was mixed well by the use of a magnetic stirrer. Then, this homogeneous mixture was passed through No. 1 Whatman filter paper. After that, the measurement of pH was done by an electrical pH meter.[11],[13]

Statistical analysis

The data obtained were assessed using the SPSS 21.0 and Excel 2013 software packages (V. 18, Chicago Inc. USA). The obtained data were analysed using Chi-square test and descriptive statistics. pH experiment was repeated in triplicate.


  Results Top


In the current study, the amounts of use of baking soda in Qom bakeries and their knowledge and attitude on the use of baking soda in bread were investigated. According to the demographic characteristics of the individuals, the highest and lowest percentages of bakers were in 30–39 (32.9%) and >50 (17.1) age groups, respectively. The level of literacy of most bakery personnel was under diploma. The highest bakery experience was in the range of 10–29 years.

[Table 1] shows the percentage of standard breads regarding soda usage according to different types of Iranian traditional breads. Based on these results, overall, 70% of Iranian traditional breads are standard and Sangak and Barbari are the most standard breads in Qom based on soda use. According to [Table 1], there was a significant difference between the use of baking soda and variety of bread. The use of baking soda in Tafton, Lavash, Barbari and Sangak breads was found as 38.7%, 31.5%, 21.3% and 20%, respectively.
Table 1: Frequency distribution of different kinds of bread in terms of the standard pH

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[Table 2] shows the relationship between demographic variables and use of baking soda in bread. The most frequent use of baking soda was observed in bakers who were in 40–49 years' age range and in groups of 10–20–years' experience. Although the most highest level of literacy of most bakery personnel was under diploma, the highest use of baking soda was observed in bakers with a higher level of literacy than diploma. The statistical analysis showed that high literacy level, high experience and high age are related factors to the higher prevalence of using baking soda in bakeries.
Table 2: Relationship between age, bakery experience and education of bakers regarding the use of baking soda in bread

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[Table 3] shows the attitude of bakeries about the complications of using baking soda and its relation with the use of baking soda in bread. Based on the results, 18.4% of bakers have good attitude, 54.7% have moderate and 26.9% have poor attitude about using baking soda in bread. However, there was no statistically significant difference (P = 0.09) between the use of baking soda and attitude of bakery staff.
Table 3: Attitude of bakers on the use of baking soda in bread

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  Discussion Top


According to the findings, the healthiest traditional bread in Iran is Sangak and in the sequent order, Barbari is placed. The moderate attitude about the side effects of baking soda was calculated in 54.7%, while 26.9% had a poor attitude. Moreover, 18.4% of bakers had a good attitude and knowledge regarding the use of baking soda and 37.2% of them have been using baking soda in bread. Similar studies have been performed in other cities of Iran in the recent years.[14] The amount of baking soda used in bread has been reported as 17%, 22% and 47.7% in Tehran, Rafsanjan and Kerman, respectively.[8],[15],[16]

The results of this study showed that seventy bakeries (29.9%) were using baking soda in bread. It was found that the employees with the highest knowledge and attitudes about the complication of baking soda have the highest use of baking soda in bread as well.

The most frequent use of baking soda was observed in Lavash (31.5%). These results are in accordance with the findings of Alami et al. and Ahamadabadi et al.[1],[8] Generally, today 42% of the bread produced in Iran is Lavash and the highest amount of baking soda is used in Lavash. Moreover, the results of other studies showed that the amount of baking soda in Lavash bread was 60% in Zahedan, 88.9% in Gorgan and 60% in Islam-Shahr.[9],[14],[17] However, it should be noted that our results were not consistent with those of Habibi's study. In Habibi's study, the highest use of baking soda was in Sangak bread.[18] According to the results obtained, it can be concluded that most of the bakeries that were studied believed that the addition of baking soda enhanced the quality of bread.

Reportedly, throughout our country, the Barbari and Lavash breads have the highest and Taftoon has the lowest amount of baking soda.[19] In Qom, the highest frequent use of baking soda were observed in Taftoon (38.7%), Lavash (31.5%) and Sangak breads (20%), respectively. The reason for this discrepancy may be that the bakery employees using Sangak bread had a better attitude and knowledge than those in bakeries using Lavash and Taftoon breads. Hence, increasing the knowledge of bakers and those involved in baking bread can be made through training programs. Especially for Lavash bakeries, the knowledge about the disadvantages of baking soda can be evaluated by repeated visits and supervision under legal considerations.[2],[9],[14]

The comparison of results of the present study with those of previous studies and the total national mean revealed that a high percentage of bakeries in Qom used baking soda in processing the bread. Baking soda is mostly used in bread when the flour has a poor quality, or managers, workers and those involved in bakeries have not acquired necessary knowledge and instructions.[2],[14]

This study showed that some bakeries in Iran produced different traditional kinds of bread that contain unstandardised level of baking soda. It seems that most baker employees do not have enough knowledge about the disadvantages of using baking soda.


  Conclusion Top


The most commonly used bread in Iran is Lavash. Hence, to enhance the quality of this bread, there is a need of continued attempts of strict supervision and monitoring by responsible organisations, especially the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Trading. Consequently, bakeries require strict supervision and monitoring on using baking soda for the production of bread. Providing instructions about the disadvantages of baking soda to bakers and those involved in baking bread can reduce the use of baking soda and improve their knowledge and attitude in this regard.

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank Qom University of Medical Sciences for supporting this research.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Alami A, Banoorkar S, Rostamiyan T, Asadzadeh SN, Morteza MM. Quality assessment of traditional breads in Gonabad bakeries, Iran. J Res Health 2014;4:835-41.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
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Ghanbari M, Farmani J. Influence of hydrocolloids on dough properties and quality of Barbari: An Iranian leavened flat bread. J Agric Sci Technol 2013;15:545-55.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Najafi MA, Rezaei K, Safari M, Razavi SH. Effects of several starter cultures on the anti-mold activity and sensory attributes of a traditional flat bread (Sangak) from Iran. Food Sci Biotechnol 2012;21:113-21.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Ahamadabadi M, Saeidi M, Rahdar S, Narooie MR, Salimi A, Alipour V, et al. Amount of baking soda and salt in the bread baked in city of Zabol. IIOAB J 2016;7:518-22.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Haratian P, Seyedin AS, Ghazizadeh M. An investigation of the effect of Whey powder on the quality of hamburger bread. Iran J Food Sci Technol 2006;3:75-82.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Jahed Khaniki G, Vaezi F, Yunesian M, Nabizadeh R, Paseban G. Detection of baking soda in flat bread by direct pH metery and alkalinity measurement. J Appl Sci 2007;7:3584-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Malakootian M, Dowlatshahi S. The quality of the manufactured bread and hygienic conditions of bakeries. J Environ Health Sci Eng 2005;2:72-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Karastogianni S, Girousi S, Sotiropoulos S. pH: Principles and Measurement. In: Caballero B, Finglas P, Toldrá, F. (eds.) The Oxford: Academic Press. Encyclopedia of Food and Health 2016: 333-8. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-384947-2.00538-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Pourbakhtyaran E, Sowlat M, Rashidian A, Pasalar P, Rastkari N, Yunesian M. Current evidence on the adverse effects of sodium bicarbonate used in bread processing on human health: A systematic review. Iran J Epidemiol 2013;8:31-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Azizi A. Evaluate amount of baking soda and salt in bakeries of Songhor city. Int J Pharm Technol 2016;8:9263. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309671493_Evaluate_amount_of_baking_soda_and_salt_in_bakeries_of_Songhor_city. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 10].  Back to cited text no. 19
    



 
 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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