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Rediscover tradition to avoid wasting “daily bread”

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Rediscover tradition to avoid wasting “daily bread”

diEliana Liotta

Eliana Liotta’s «Smart Tips» column talks about how to enhance the most well-known food in the kitchen and how easy it has become to throw it away rather than reuse it

Recovering stale bread is good for the planet and also for your health. Resistant starch is formed in the no longer fragrant baguette, which could improve the composition of the microbiota, the population of bacteria and other microorganisms in our intestine.

The waste numbers

The frankly chilling estimate is that a third of all food produced is lost or wasted. In our country, one of the foods that most often ends up in the bin is bread and this is even more special because it is the symbol of humanity at the table, the nourishment of the Egyptians and the Hittites, the Jews and the Romans, «the daily bread” of prayers.

In freezer

Every Italian throws away about a kilo of it every year (according to the latest report by Waste Watcher International Observatory on Food and Sustainability). It would be enough to freeze it: in fact, bread in the freezer does not lose its nutritional properties and can then be revived in the microwave, in the toaster or in the oven.

How to recycle

The michette that are no longer fresh are recycled with a little imagination and an eye for tradition. Crostini are obtained for soups, the panzanella of Tuscan gastronomy is prepared with a base of tomato and oil, breadcrumbs are made, bruschetta is toasted. In Campania, «o’ mascuotto» is made, a crunchy specialty to be dipped in minestrone soups or sauces.

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Resistant starch

Stale bread has been the object of curiosity among scientists for some years. Inside it, a fraction of starch is created which is not modified and absorbed during digestion. It is called resistant starch (in the sense that it resists digestive enzymes) and reaches the large intestine, where it behaves like dietary fibre: it can be fermented by probiotic bacteria which in turn produce postbiotics such as short-chain fatty acids, useful for human health.

* The review is by Lucilla Titta, coordinator of the Smartfood program at the Ieo-European Institute of Oncology.

March 7, 2024 (modified March 7, 2024 | 4:16 pm)

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