Nutrients Lost When Food is Processed

A significant amount of nutrients may be lost when food is processed. Below are two charts showing the proportion of selected nutrients found in white rice compared with brown rice and white wheat flour compared with whole wheat flour.[1]

Often white wheat flour is enriched to attempt to make up for the nutrients removed.

White rice and white wheat flour are created when the hull, bran layer and cereal germ removed. The germ is part of the grain that germinates to create a seedling.

Storage life is increased due to the removal of oils and nutrients.

The graphs show the ratio of nutrients found in refined wheat flour and white rice when compared to the whole-food versions. The nutrients in the whole-food versions is represented by 1 (100%) on the graphs.

Less than 20% of manganese, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin is found in white wheat flour compared with whole wheat flour.

Less than 40% of manganese, folate, riboflavin, magnesium and vitamin E is found in white rice compared with brown rice.


Comparison of White Wheat Flour with Whole Grain Wheat Flour


Comparison of White Rice With Brown Rice

Footnotes

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture (n.d.) USDA Food Composition Databases [online]. Available from: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods.

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