Some unscrupulous bakers are reportedly colouring white flour brown in making bread as a substitute to using brown flour, NewsDay has learnt.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The difference between colouring white flour brown and brown flour is that the latter is made from whole-wheat that has not undergone heavy processing, making it more nutritious compared to white flour.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said it started receiving complaints from consumers two weeks ago that brown bread was in fact being made from white flour which has been made brown by colourants.
“We need to take it up with the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ). We need to approach them from a consumer perspective and actually highlight those concerns because it is coming from the public. They need to give an explanation,” CCZ deputy executive director Rosemary Mpofu told NewsDay yesterday.
Mpofu said they made presentations to the Zimbabwe Wheat Board two weeks ago, but did not have a chance to engage NBAZ on the concerns around bread.
The price of a 50 kg bag has risen 14,02% from $32 to the current $36,50 around the same time last year as a result of millers raising prices to militate against shortages in wheat deliveries.
Inadequate levels of forex hampered wheat supply to millers, which averages 30 000 tonnes against a monthly demand of 38 000 tonnes.
This saw National Foods Limited and Blue Ribbon Foods, the biggest millers in Zimbabwe, resorting to reserve stocks of wheat in June this year, leading to shortages in flour on the market, affecting deliveries to bakers.
“You can check whether the suppliers have stopped supplying brown flour, but as long as the suppliers are supplying brown flour there shouldn’t be any issue. We are getting the brown flour, but we are not getting enough as you are aware there is still a challenge on flour, rationing of flour,” NBAZ president and chief executive officer of Bakers Inn Ngoni Mazango said.
He, however, added that he had not heard of any bakers colouring white flour brown to make bread in light of the reduced brown flour delivery.
Apart from flour, bakers have complained about increases in the price of enzymes, baking fats, improvers, gluten, calcium, kwiklocks, premix and spare parts for the factories and distribution vehicles in making bread.
Efforts to reach National Foods Limited and Blue Ribbon Foods were fruitless by the time of going to print.