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Ascorbic acid | Sourdough Companion

Ascorbic acid

 ASCORBIC ACID….why use it?

 

Probably the first thing to clear up is that everybody is free to use non injurious additives in their bread. This is done by all the major bread making companies (bakeries) and is the chemicalised factory bread of commerce. In this piece, Im attempting to examine the use of ascorbic acid in craft/artisan bread-making, and these are my opinions, which aren’t designed to convert anybody, but simply open the question for discussion. There are obvious correspondences with the use of chemicals in food per se.

There is no “dogma” of conformity associated with the questioning of the use of ascorbic acid in bread-making. It is more in the realms of truth of information, because some don’t publically admit that they use it, and a questioning of its use is simply for valid reasons in the same way one can and needs to question the use of any chemical additives to food. It is stated that to experiment with it is harmless, and one must agree, but this is different to using it as a matter of practice in breadmaking, especially that which claims some lineage or quality which distinguishes it from ordinary factory bread.

It is curious the amount of home or craft bakers who want to try ascorbic acid in their bread because it supposedly makes the bread “better”.

Even more curious is the amount of craft bakers who maintain some claim to “authenticity”/ “tradition” and who use organic flours, but regularly add ascorbic acid to their bread.

Ascorbic acid is NOT vitamin C , which is a complex of bioflavonoids, including ascorbic acid. Ascorbic is an isolate of vitamin C . Vitamin C does not work in the same way in a bread dough as does ascorbic acid, which has its own function. Therefore there can be no claim to ascorbic acid being “natural”, eventhough the latter term is devalued by modern marketing, it has an inherent meaning which clearly excludes chemical refining. The ascorbic acid generally used is not even isolated from naturally occurring vitamin C. It is an analogue which is manufactured by chemical means usually from glucose which is chemically isolated from white refined sugar. It would seem reasonable that this sort of provenance would preclude its use in any bread which claims some lineage or association with tradition or which claims status as healthful/wholesome.

Usually, labelling a bread as organic/traditional/authentic, or giving it a traditional title could be construed to mean that the bread is made according to some form of lineage, which could presumably include ingredients and method….such as sourdough. That ascorbic acid is a modern chemical isolate, would seem to preclude its use in any breads which claim some form of lineage or historical quality.

A “whats the problem” approach by a user is actually a type of ignorance, as this sort of baker clearly doesn’t care about their product enough to understand the process or the nature of the addirtive they claim there is too much “fuss” about. This sort of baker would clearly use any means and any method to sell their product and are outside of the scope of this article, which they would probably not be lucid enough to consider anyway. Here, im more referring to those bakers who have some craft and claim some lineage for their bread, but appear to have an ambivalence about the use of additives. Therefore Im attempting to put the use of ascorbic acid in some sort of perspective or context so that its use is more clearly examined…which surely cant be a bad thing?

Unquestionable is that Ascorbic acid is a chemical additive which it is claimed “improves” the bread or makes “better” bread. What do we mean by “improve” as this term has been subsumed by the bread industry as a synonym for “additive”. How does it make the bread “better”…this is a value laden term, which has to be assessed by technical and organoleptic criteria. As the recommended quantity to use is really tiny, it is easy for the baker to use too much, which is easy to taste, especially in a sourdough or for that matter any bread which should taste of the traditional criteria, but too much ascorbic leaves a noticeable taint.

That it is “better” in some way is perhaps a misnomer, validly replaced by “convenient”- for the baker who then doesn’t really have to engage with the process, but can rely on the chemical to do it for them….which is the antithesis of the idea of craft (artisan/non-factory) baking.

Also claimed is that “it completely disappears” in the process and leaves no residue. In this case it is the only substance in the history of chemistry which does so…even the effect on the dough as technically observed is a legacy whether detectable or not…and  certainly the taint left when too much is used proves that it does not disappear magically, but has left a discernable residue for those who can taste.

As the important ingredient in the Chorleywood bread making process which was developed to make wonder bread, it is seemingly incongruous to use it in a “craft” bread or a bread which has a claim to some lineage or other quality…..using it brings such bread back into line with the chemicalising of food/bread characteristic of the chemical modernity of the 1950`s, now in disrepute as so many additives have been withdrawn as new knowledge reveals them to be injurious in some way for example, potassium bromate.

It would seem reasonable to assume that the aim of craft bakers is to make additive free bread, which was certainly the initial impetus to break away from the factory bakeries and make food which had a new quality, untainted by additives. It would appear ignorant not to realise this, and a “no-brainer” to put additives in bread which claims to be different from chemicalised bread….no matter what claims are made to the contrary, bread which contains ascorbic acid is “chemicalised”.

With regard to tradition or authenticity, that the French legal definition of for example a “baguette de tradition Francaise”, excludes the use of ascorbic acid, would appear to indicate its use is not within the sphere of “traditional” or “authentic”. Some bakers will shrug off concerns about the use of AA in breadmaking by saying that French bread makers use it…as if this was a claim to some form of authenticity.

The news is that French bread is as awful as anybodys bread, and for example the French are the biggest consumers of McDonalds stuff outside the USA, so the claim or perceived superiority of “French bread” is spurious, eventhough the French have a lineage of good bread and concern for good bread, and that authentic bread made in the traditional way is available there…well it is also in the USA, Australia, the UK and other modern economies…the “new” good bread is a world-wide phenomenon and was initiated outside of France, notably in the USA and Australia.

It can be claimed that ascorbic acid affects the sourdough process, so that it is not the same process (or bread) as that used by a baker who does not use ascorbic acid. This is clearly evident…it does change the sourdough process, giving a discernable effect…otherwise it wouldnt be used. Sourdough with ascorbic is not actually sourdough. Chemically, the gluten/gliadin hydrolysing action of the organic acids and enzymes in a sourdough is changed. They no longer break down the gluten/gliadin matrix in the same way, perhaps AA de-activates proteolytic enzymes which would appear reasonable, as their function is to breakdown protein which after all form the structural matrix. This could be crucial for those who eat sourdough because they have a sensitivity to gluten/gliadin., and is proven because this is the noticeable effect of using ascorbic acid…the bread structure (gluten/gliadin matrix) is higher and lighter, in fact barely altered by the fermentation as it should be in an authentic sourdough. In short, bakers use it to stabilise the dough so that it holds on longer and gives greater volume, both of which can be achieved by good craft and the intelligent scheduling of doughs, and with the time–based quantification of the amount of leaven used.

It would actually be more wholesome to add yeast to a sourdough to achieve greater gassing power than to use ascorbic acid, which demonstrates that its use in sourdough is a kind of subterfuge really.

Next question is the desireability of adding chemicals to an age-old process which has been revived to relieve us from the assault of chemicalised food. Seems a misunderstanding of the place of sourdough bread in the scheme of things…..to have in fact lost the plot….which is a kind of ignorance.

This is actually about the greater question of the use of chemicals in food. It is not congruous with the notion of good wholesome food, which often breads containing ascorbic are claimed to be, and which is definitely claimed for sourdough.

Just because ascorbic has no proven ill-effect, it doesn’t make one immediately overtly sick-doesn’t mean much as we now know from the bitter experience of chemicals which were previously used in food…or medicine or the environment for that matter. There is a long list of chemicals which have been previously used in bread, but which are now banned….from the erucic acid containing oils with which tins used to be greased , now known to be carcinogenic, to for example potassium bromate, which is useful to examine.

Bromate was used for decades in bread until its harmful effects were discovered….that it causes kidney damage. Bromate was used because it yields dependable results as it makes stronger and more elastic dough. Alarmingly, ascorbic acid is the chemical chosen in factory processes to replace it, as it performs the same function in bread making, and is itself under suspicion from some authorities…because blatantly obviously, if it has the same effect on dough as bromate, it may well have a similar sort of as yet undetected toxicity?  Interesting is that Britain`s Committee On Toxicology has Ascorbic acid under scrutiny. In any case it is obviously a very powerful substance the use of which should be questioned, and this questioning is not in the manner of an “anti” stand, but as ive said is simply prudent as we are talking about food here, and I re-iterate, food/bread which is often touted as superior to factory bread in some way.

The lyricism and beauty of the baker-as-artisan or craftsman/woman is lost in the use of chemical additives. If there is any art in baking bread, especially sourdough, it is lost by the use of additives to do the job for you. Instead of using craft to achieve good bread, one uses a chemical crutch…almost like an addiction.

154 comments

 I make a great sourdough loaf using organic spelt, water and a little salt, it works so well, that I have no reason to add any substance, chemical or compound, to a great natural product, my approach is less academic than yours, more from the gut, but it is comforting to know that my gut feelings can be supported by the "head"....
Many Thanks,

Jeff

Thanks Jeff, well my first reactions have always been "gut" but that doent translate well to a page, so to enable comment one just has to go "academic" and attempt to write clearly to try and create an awareness. or even outline a potential problem. I agree, it just doesnt "feel" right to add these things to what is as you say, "a great natural product".

[quote=JohnD]

because blatantly obviously, if it has the same effect on dough as bromate, it may well have a similar sort of as yet undetected toxicity?  Interesting is that Britain`s Committee On Toxicology has Ascorbic acid under scrutiny.

[/quote]

Interesting that you mention this John, because in England this stuff is in almost every supermarket product, from fruit juices through bread and on to preserved meats like salami, and just about anything else you can think of...

 

What on earth are the authorities doing if there is a suspicion about its effect by allowing it into such a wide variety of produce? The cynical view might be that they are creating a dependent population by design, where everyone has got high blood pressure, or diabetes or some other chronic condition that requires permanent drug dependency.

 

I have only been making sourdough bread on a daily basis for about a year, I used to make it occasionally with yeast... I went on one of Richard Bertinet's very first courses in Bath. Anyway, one of the first things that I noticed was that along with the folic acid, ascorbic acid was being added even to Doves Farm "organic strong white flour", I instinctively did not buy it and have never done so, preferring the Shipton Mill stuff, which seems to have avoided these additions. 

 

I have to say that I have been buying what my friends call "hippy food" (small craft suppliers/producers) for a very long time now, but have only recently extended this concept to the so-called staples as well.

 

BTW: Heard you on the OBC (Food Programme Radio 4) the other day, very good show, thanks.

Thankyou Natalie,Its a pity really about that cringey mindset which labels essential natural foods as "hippy food"...just means that people have become dupes of the industrial food complex...sort of a victory for the corporates and their lackeys, the "authorities". I was astonished other night watching (for insight) a UK TV program about grumpy attitudes to food. One well known comedian said he was grumpy about people who wouldnt eat (factory) bread because after all bread is mentioned in the bible even...its mind boggling to realise he hadnt made the connection that the bread mentioned in the bible wasnt exactly white wonder bread...so was certainly an insight into the addled modern food-mind and how the purveyors of chemicalised food have successfully re-programmed people and the "authorities"....I dont think that view is cynical, there is abundant evidence to support it really.  . 

I have to agree with Jeff, why put anything unnatural in a delicious bread.   I have found that my bread will last a week without mold.  Why ruin something so good and pure and so healthy.   I too bake with mostly organic flours, cornmeal etc.  I purchase spelt, millet, corn meal, etc from the health food store.   I purchase my bread flour in larger sacks from super market. 

 I went on a mission a little more than a year ago to remove AA from our products. Long story short... mission failed. 

Not only was I able to produce the same results, but it's rediculously expensive for a 2.27 kg bag! $40.50 last time I checked

Well done Adam, thankyou for your feedback....in what products, and why did the mission fail?

Hey John,

See you made Epicure in The Age this morning.  Good one.

Farinam

Really? news to me. Thanks for telling me...hope it was positive? must try and get a copy.

 

Just read it...hilarious really, one of the Melbourne bakers says 'Its better than crap flour and bread improvers" I laughed out loud...ascorbic acid IS a bread improver lol...shows how out of touch you can be....another says "at least its not bromate"...but it is the chosen replacement for bromate in the bread factories, and as ive said is under suspicion for having a similar toxicity...if it is revealed to have a toxicity, where will such bakers stand then?. The argument was also put that they just use a tiny amount and cant be detected...well I can taste it, and wondered what the strange taste in some of the Melbourne sourdoughs was..its easy, just do a blind trial with the sourdoughs which dont have it and the taint of ascorbic is revealed....and again, tiny amounts of chemicals can have an enormous effect...which is proven by the fact that  they only use a tiny amount and it has this great wonderous effect... its a very very strong chemical...much much less lysergic acid will keep you hallucinating for 12 hours(so ive been told) such is the power of chemicals....its an absolute no brainer to use biodynamic flour and add chemicals to it?

Acerbic Acid vs Ascorbic Acid.

 

John, or should that be Sourdough Messiah now?,

 

This all just waffle and tin-pot idealism? How does LSD get mentioned in the same paragraph as bread making? Under what pre-text do you even consider it a rational comparative when talking about food, bread and Ascorbic Acid. I find your comments divisive, unhelpful and down-right negative. Others of your ilk make better suggestion and have a greater influence because of their encouragement rather than your acerbic observation.

 

Given the conviction of your comments, where is your bakery where you practice daily what you preach so well? I would love to visit it to partake of the "organoleptic" ecstasy that is sure to carry me away. Does it function as a working business? Perhaps it's from the safety of your home kitchen a couple of times a week, eh? 

 

Your post is nonsensical ramblings from a grumpy old baker trying to stay relevant by drumming up controversy where there is none. If and when Ascorbic Acid is found to be deleterious to the health, it won't be used. Until then, vague, non-referenced, unsubstantiated mention of its harm is pointless and only foments concern where none has been found. Why not question the industry-wide roll-out of folic acid fortification that has been mandated, in trace amount, for conventional flour in Australia and the concerns raised but largely ignored. The iodized salt for bakers' use? The fortifications enforced on bread makers are not to be disputed yet are mandatory, according to FSANZ. Dan Lepard, the wholesome bread/food 'expert' put it perfectly (of ascorbic acid addition), 'similar results can be achieved in other ways. ''But it's very low on my list of concerns.'' - The Age Epicure 8th August 2011. Apart from having brevity on his side, he captures the seriousness of the issue perfectly: there are bigger issues in bread-making today and this isn't one of them.

Instead of challenging the Bread Industry that promotes the use of quick-fix sourdough flavour essences (let alone the list of Soy products, emulsifiers, enzymes, etc, etc, and etc. that go into their industrial bread) you choose to crap on those who have made considerable effort in small commercial enterprises by using local Organic Flour and maintaining proper sourdough cultures (without bakers' yeast) moulding and baking bread by hand. Let's not forget to mention the bakers who make this bread, (I speak of our bakery here but know many other bakers who enjoy making good bread) each day with good intent and some well-earned pride. These people all you paint with disdain at their feeble attempts to be serious crafts people because they use Ascorbic Acid. They should do well to take head of the impending doom should they shy away from Your Truth.

 

Its embarrassing to see you go red in the face with your raving. Go quietly, old man.

 

Your time has passed, John.

 

Geoffy.

The time has passed for modern crap chemicals in our food chain....

For the  Renaisannce man, his time is never passed..... but the straw man's day's are numbered by the change of the season's.    

Come on Geoff.  Please make your points without the personal attacks.  I don't know you or John but I do know I love this website.  I love the discussions, I love the insights, I love the difference of opinion.  

 

Back on the topic.  I love the simplicity of bread - just flour, water and salt.  There is something brilliant about how these simple ingredients combine.  I often liken it to coffee, would a world class barista add a chemical to make his coffee taste better, or make the coffee easier to make.  NO. 

 

Bottom line.  I cook with my heart and my heart says that bread without additives is the bread that I want to bake and eat. 

Timmy,

 

I am one of these bakers from Melbourne who is supposedly tricking my customers and getting them hooked on the "latest drug" and making them dependent. When this tone of inference is taken that directly affects my business with nary a shred of proof or substantiation, coming from one individual who has made it their personal right to attack and slander how we make bread, then how else am I supposed to respond?

 

Yes, we put lots of chemicals in our bread - H2Oand NaCl to name a couple. There is ascorbic acid used to fortify fruit juice and food products in general, I buy mine from a wine supply shop so I assume its also used in that industry too. While it may be before the British Committee of Toxicology there has been no determination as yet. There are any number of food related investigations that assess the potential for irritation and risk but just because this organisation (or our equivalent in Australia) investigate a substance or process, doesn't mean a sudden need for hysteria, which I feel John is fanning for his own personal vendetta.

In Australia, folic acid is now added at the milling stage to a certain level and is mandatory in all bread flour unless the flour is described as "organic". There was and still is concern that this addition has potential for ill health effects but Food Standards Aust. New Zealand (FSANZ) have deemed it safe and it is against the law not to add it. One small miller in Australia has concerns that the amount to add is so small that is very difficult to remain within the limits set out by the standard and to go over poses health issues while to drop under means being substantially fined. This addition affects all bread sold that has not been made from Organic flour. All. Yet there is not a peep about the potential for harm from anyone here that I have seen. Fortification of salt with iodine is now mandatory for all bakers in the same way as folic acid is unless you use Organic flour. Again, not a peep. Why? It hasn't been found to have any issues with the regulating bodies and is deemed permissible (mandatory), within the guidelines.

There are no rulings on ascorbic acid making it unsafe at low concentration, similarly, and so common usage continues. Yet there have been, on this website, similarities 'drawn to drugs of dependence', trickery and laziness, "glaringly obvious delusion they are under,and the deception they practice" JohnD {2008 Feb 24 'Sex pistols' blog Sourdough Companion}. How does this comment, verging on libel, become permissible against the bakers of Melbourne many of whom, like myself, make sourdough with a long ferment using fully certified organic flour? How? We don't hide the fact we use ascorbic acid and certainly wouldn't continue using it if there had been some credible finding that its use was injurious to peoples' health. Until that time, any comments to the contrary are misleading and made in an effort to push John's personal agenda and his own little dogma. We have seen no proof or substance, have we? Alternative informed opinion from other sources? Nil

This website suffers from Downes Syndrome - too many people listening to one rabid fundamentalist for opinion not informed debate with facts and figures presented before vicious accusations are made.


Thanks George. Interesting that some of the best bakers in Melbourne - Daniel Chirico and Tony Dench - plus another ex-Melbourne boy who has gained great success in London - Dan Lepard - support your views. 

Comments that sourdough with even microscopic amounts of ascorbic acid are not sourdough, are just clearly factually wrong - but I don't think too many people in the real world take any notice of such extreme commentary. 

 Clearly.... factually for 4000 years plus

SOURDOUGH - Water-FLour-Salt-Levain  

 

Modern Chemicalised Bread 

1900's onward's,  largely post 1947 ....then many bread's did not become chemicalised until the last 30 years.

 

 

 

Instead of just being a bully and resorting to insults,  lets hear a well argued case for the use of ascorbic acid and chemicals in food young Geoffy.

Instead of just being a bully and resorting to insults,  lets hear a well argued case for the use of ascorbic acid and chemicals in food young Geoffy.

 

Graham, this is partly your making. What have you got to offer? Some pertinent rulings by Food Standards here or overseas organizations about the health risks associated by bread conditioners such as ascorbic acid? Will you vacillate further or can you give a final decision about this subject and put it to bed before it affects my customers' perception of our bread making process and ultimately our business, based solely on hearsay?

 

Using ascorbic acid may be making use of a synthesized compound to give tolerance and greater margin of error to larger scale baking (think 6 bakers around a table moulding bread, not industrial factory-sites here, please people) but it's done to even out the shortage of skill faced and the inconsistencies in small batch Organic flour milling. It's not trickery or sleight of hand to fool the unsuspecting customer, or with zooming profits in mind, I can tell you. It makes running a bakery simpler knowing that the natural fluctuations can be ironed out. Low-yielding certified organic grain harvests, currently the norm in Australia here, mean one delivery to the next can, and does, vary in regard to the properties of the flour. When the season has been really bad, having organic flour is a luxury without asking for it to be perfect for bread making and consistent from week to week, delivery to delivery. Sure, if I only made the doughs here every day and didn't have to rely on staff to mix and react to changes, things might, might be hunky-dory. Unfortunately this is not the case. I have delivery drivers to contend with, wonder-chefs who want consistency and perfection delivered NOW!, customers who are suddenly food-critics and blogging individuals who think they are the centre of the world and pass judgement on the smallest infraction to their cafe late not to even start on the headache associated with OH&S,  GST and tax compliance. Food conglomerates that can pump out 'bread' at $1 a loaf and the cornucopia of things to deal with running a small family business in a pathetic retail climate that is unlikely to improve in the short term make for a pathetic life as a business owner and baker. 

In a modern workforce where most bakers are transient and for the pittance that is afforded bread in some bakeries ($1 a loaf is tough competition to many smaller bakeries) finding bakers with enough skill to run a commercial bakery is difficult. Aussies don't want to work hard, most are whingeing dilettantes and are totally unreliable. Our best employees are internationals, people with a real work ethic that enjoy working and crafting something with their hands, these men and women (Polish, Japanese, Indian, Taiwanese, Chinese and one South Korean female baker) have been with us for 2 years plus, some over 5 years. They enjoy making bread, good bread and the prestige afforded our bakery because of their effort. They work real 8 hour shifts, not 8 hour shifts that regularly last 10-12 hours  like I did for other bakery owners. Happy bakers make good bread, these employees are who are tricking our customers, would feel slighted by this website, as I do.

 

Ascorbic acid is a currently allowable ingredient added as a dough conditioner as opposed to generic bread improvers used by fluffy white bread makers and added gluten, making up for cheap conventional bread flours. To lambaste us and the other bakery owners for using it is misguided, misleading and in the tone here on Sourdough Companion, deeply worrying that such inferences can be made without justification and recourse to the slander. In your attempt to delineate between craftspeople and die-hards and big industry, you are not breeding consideration and information but bitter feud and disparity. My vitriole is just as unhelpful as John's and if you want me to stop then muzzle this lunatic before he makes further unsubstantiated, baseless accusation and paints us all as poisonous greedy idiots with scant regard to our ultimate judges - the returning customer.

 

Every loaf of organic hand-made bread with AA we sell has come at the expense of fluffy white rubbish elsewhere, where is the latitude?

 

Only negative attitude.

 

 George W.

 

 

 

Every loaf of organic hand-made bread with AA we sell has come at the expense of fluffy white rubbish elsewhere, where is the latitude?

Not wanting to fan the flames of controversy, but I do agree 100% with you - that this irresponsible fearmongering which I believe is based on dogma, not fact, can only do unnecessary damage to our artisan sourdough bakers, not to anything else. Regrettably, throw enough mud around and some will stick. I think it a great shame that some are trying to take this forum over for their own ideological ends. It's a breadmaking forum, not a political one.

[quote=George Washington]

 Using ascorbic acid may be making use of a synthesized compound to give tolerance and greater margin of error to larger scale baking (think 6 bakers around a table moulding bread, not industrial factory-sites here, please people) but it's done to even out the shortage of skill faced and the inconsistencies in small batch Organic flour milling. It's not trickery or sleight of hand to fool the unsuspecting customer, or with zooming profits in mind, I can tell you. It makes running a bakery simpler knowing that the natural fluctuations can be ironed out. Low-yielding certified organic grain harvests, currently the norm in Australia here, mean one delivery to the next can, and does, vary in regard to the properties of the flour. When the season has been really bad, having organic flour is a luxury without asking for it to be perfect for bread making and consistent from week to week, delivery to delivery. Sure, if I only made the doughs here every day and didn't have to rely on staff to mix and react to changes, things might, might be hunky-dory. Unfortunately this is not the case. I have delivery drivers to contend with, wonder-chefs who want consistency and perfection delivered NOW!, customers who are suddenly food-critics and blogging individuals who think they are the centre of the world and pass judgement on the smallest infraction to their cafe late not to even start on the headache associated with OH&S,  GST and tax compliance. Food conglomerates that can pump out 'bread' at $1 a loaf and the cornucopia of things to deal with running a small family business in a pathetic retail climate that is unlikely to improve in the short term make for a pathetic life as a business owner and baker.  

 George W. 

[/quote]

 

 

Welcome to every business owner's world...

I've got big shoulder's you are welcome to cry on them if you like?

Some of us  still manage to bake REAL BREAD without crap addivitives, just using

Organic Flour -Water-Sea/RIver Salt- Levain. and our business continues to grow... 


 

 

For the benefit of this discussion, could someone please, PLEASE present hard fact that shows the danger that the addition of Ascorbic acid is a potential risk or known hazard and therefore that its use should be stopped immediately? {Not gut feel; not personal opinion; not extrapolation or past mistakes.} Good, solid properly referenced, registered concern that shows genuine reason to doubt the health issues associated with ascorbic acid addition to bread (or any other food product for that matter) and I will happily debate further.

 

Sweeping generalizations that are unfounded and baseless only harm and confuse. Emotive slander accusing  bakers (Melbourne especially) of being little more than lazy charlatans and tricksters, is worse still. JohnD has made the claim of its unsafe use and is yet to back it up with any reference to investigation or result. The un-skilled, ignorant, fake artisans amongst us are all waiting.....

 

Failing that: a retraction.

 

Geoffy.

 

 JohnD's original blog was very convincing and informative for me, Ascorbic Acid is widely used in commercial bread, use it if you please, other people may have a different approach, for personal reasons, their lifestyle or otherwise. I wouldn't look to JohD to prove to you anything, make up your own mind, search the internet, consult your doctor... I expressed my feeling as a "gut feeling", if that does not suit you, how is this, "My organic spelt sourdough loaf comes out so well using flour water and a little salt that I have no need for any additive, just as I would not put an additive in my tank if my car was going fine..." There is no debate here, there is a telling of a story how one likes to do things, there will be no winner or loser, just as you wouldn't ask JohnD if you should eat eggs because of the cholesterol, make your own decision about ascorbic acid. Instead of running down the very good blog, just disagree in a nice way, after all you make your own decisions in your own home. Your use of "un-skilled, ignorant, fake" make me rather suspect you than of the person you criticize...

JohnD I found your blog very informative, it led me to actually do a search about the dangers of ascorbic acid, which I didn't know.  I thought it was vitamin c.  I am a home baker, and I need this type of information so I can make "good choices" about what type of food I want to put in my body.    I was also under the false pretense that Bakerys baked healthily, which also led me to choose NOT to purchase anything from a bakery again.   It's best to make things yourself at home.  

 

It is very childish, when one cannot accept the opinion of another, or one's way of doing something.   JohnD's blog doesn't force you to use things or to stop using them.  His blog is to inform "those who are interested" of his opinion, as with anyone else here on this forum. 

 

There is a saying that goes something like this     You point one finger at someone and there are 3 pointing back at you. 

 

If you disagree with what JohnD said, then so be it, but please cut the drama, do the research yourself.   Things do not have to be set in concrete to make them right or wrong, if there is enough people talking about this, it warrants a change.  Why wait until people die before change is implemented?

 

 

I just dont see a point to replying to any of this. It amazes me that none of you who are writing me off seem to have read what I said, especially the first line of what is actually an enquiry, in which ive stated its my opinion, thats all. You all sound like fundamentalists yourselves, muzzling the lunatic who dares to speak his mind, from long experience. Why are you all so nasty, I havent attacked anyone personally, and wouldnt, but from young Geoffys insults re my age to being told to put up or shut up, its verging on fascism and repression...theres nothing slanderous in anything ive said....please feel free to consult your lawyer and sue me if you think thats the case. Seems like using AA is part of a mindset, which id suspected anyway, and seems confirmed, maybe its something you ate?

 If you dont like what I say, well dont read it, but please dont try to repress the freedom of speech and enquiry which are the hallmark of civilisation. In case you hadnt noticed, the blog IS actually about bread, which has a far greater context than you seem to realise......are we only supposed/allowed to talk about hydration and specified topics? As for being told my opinions and sense of enquiry are dangerous, well what does that mean?

Thankyou though George for explaining that it is work pressure which seems to have led you to employ ascorbic acid in your breads. I was actually hoping for some information like that, rather than the bullying and abuse.

Hi guys I'm a commercial baker that uses ascorbic acid and I don't see what the fuss is about. We make leavened bread primarily as well as yeasted breads and other pastry products. We use organic flour as well as conventional and for some products ie croissant we add gluten to the mix. In all my time making simple bread, a lot of it we call sourdough, although by the strict terminology that ABA here would apply, it would seem our bakery wouldn't rate as arrtisans. In all my years baking bread I haven't had one customer complain because the bread they ate made them sick or unwell because of the AA we used. On the contrary they return for good bread. It seems this is a pretty touchy subject for a few people but let's keep some perspective here, perhaps? our bread doesn't have Bread Improver added nor gluten (pastry aside). This is a Long way from bread practices of recent days where everything is added so you can beat the crap out of it. Is this not an improvement?

John, I apologise for the direct attacks and the vicious maligning of your character. I have a hard time being calm when you represent, to a lot of these people, informed and experienced opinion yet lean on (or misrepresent or don't present) the facts a little too much for some stories. Your position as a long-term baker and person of esteem is undoubted, 

"In a purely descriptive sense, that is without ego connotations, I was the first Artisan baker in modern Australia", Artisan what? 2008 January 22 JohnD Sourdough.com)

Your position in the bread community means that what you say and encourage can be, and is, taken to heart. In many cases, this has been great. The championing of Melbourne and Australia for good bread/food has been influenced by your presence, along with many others, but you are an obvious stand-out when it comes to sourdough bread, hence the reliance on what you say and do.

My issue arises when you present your opinion. It isn't as a layman or a keen home baker, it's one of wisdom and experience. So I see it that you should be careful how you present that opinion as some people make it theirs without question.

My point exactly:

 

JohnD wrote:because blatantly

What on earth are the authorities doing if there is a suspicion about its effect by allowing it into such a wide variety of produce? The cynical view might be that they are creating a dependent population by design, where everyone has got high blood pressure, or diabetes or some other chronic condition that requires permanent drug dependency.

This is childish

JohnD I found your blog very informative, it led me to actually do a search about the dangers of ascorbic acid, which I didn't know.  I thought it was vitamin c.  I am a home baker, and I need this type of information so I can make "good choices" about what type of food I want to put in my body.    I was also under the false pretense that Bakerys baked healthily, which also led me to choose NOT to purchase anything from a bakery again. Things do not have to be set in concrete to make them right or wrong, if there is enough people talking about this, it warrants a change.  Why wait until people die before change is implemented?

 

 

Suddenly, from being lazy bakers making use of a synthesised compound (read: "chemical" although the context of this term its spat out like something poisonous...last time I checked air was made up of chemicals?) we are hoodwinking our customers, lying to them and now it would seem poisoning them? How? What are the "dangers"? What is ascorbic acid likely to do to your body in the concentrations found in baked bread products? You hold it up in the same light as bromate:

("another says "at least its not bromate"...but it is the chosen replacement for bromate in the bread factories, and as ive said is under suspicion for having a similar toxicity...if it is revealed to have a toxicity, where will such bakers stand then?" Age by JohnD 2011 August 10 sourdough.com)

Does it lead to kidney trouble? failure? cancer? The resemblance of each of the two compound's resultant effects in bread is enough to make them the same in your opinion. That isn't thorough investigation, and you know it. You've just been called on it and don't actually have any proof, yet now we  have home bakers/bloggers thinking that their local bakery is slowly, intentionally poisoning them on behalf of the Pharmaceutical establishment?? This is what I rail against and what I deem to be misleading at best and libellous at worst.

You are quite specific in your scorn for Melbourne bakers and given the article in The Age Epicure Melbourne, 08/08/11 with links to this website and your comment, am I now to expect that customers of my own - who are told by us that the bread contains AA (not Vit C) - will be accusing me of giving them unhealthy bread because JohnD claims some link to bromate or toxicity concern?

While British Toxicology may be looking into AA, you furnish no further information and happily let the dots be joined as to why. It could be that they are looking at its long-term effetcs or simply wishing to set recommended limits and guidelines for safe use as with all other food additives and compounds that come in contact with humans. This process would have happened for fluoridated water, as one example. Fluoride is very harmful  and will kill you if ingested in even small doses. But. But! If it's measured out carefully in trace amounts, the  benefits are remarkable for dental health and significantly outweigh the carefully considered negatives. This would be have been subject to intial scrutiny and then reviewed from time to time by any Country's relevent body as a matter of course.

 

While you are free to put your opinion across it helps if you are objective and informative rather than carefully presenting only those facts which further your own position/opinion. You launch into this with both boots and fists as if those who use ascorbic acid are the enemy, completely ignoring the fact that many of these bakeries champion organic flour/ingredients and a sourdough culture of some sort used to make dough that is moulded, in many cases, by hand. We are doing most of what you would wish. No? Are we ignorant, brain-dead cogs of the New Industrial Complex and need to be smashed and dragged out into the street as vile traitors to the cause? Your tone would indicate so.

This is not what making, or trying to make, better bread is all about. Isn't this the essence of what you are trying to get across. Better bread can be made with only the simplest of ingredients? Ok. Tell us, but keep it informative and instructive, this would help engender similar repsonses.

Instead of using craft to achieve good bread, one uses a chemical crutch…almost like an addiction. JohnD Ascorbic Acid 2011 August 5

 

My concern has been, with response to this topic, that you are creating an overly-dramatised concern where none has been proven or shown and in doing so impacting the understanding of what goes into a loaf of bread made in a local bakery using a proper sourdough culture. Most people's eyes will glaze over when the chemical reactions of enzymes and changes on a molecular level in bread are discussed but snap sharply into focus with the mention of "kidney failure". "Huh? What? if I eat this bread my kidney will fail? Wow." The two blog comments above highlight this leap to conclusion when there has actually been only one opinion presented, Yours.

 

That AA use is 'lazy' in a commercial sense is questionable but not really my main concern here. What is concerning is your tenet that it is injurious. There are other small, "sourdough" "artisan" bakery owners in Melbs. that have been taken aback (an understatement) at your comments so some clarification of the health issues would be helpful, soon. I ask you to set the record straight and provide some meaningful resource so we can all make our own minds up.

 

Geoffy.

 

 

 Thanks for your comment. Could you please quote where I have said AA is injurious? Please read what I said, not what you think ive said. Nowhere did I say it causes kidney failure, you havent read the piece properly.

Ive stated this is my opinion, and ive drawn analogies between bromate and AA, simply because AA has replaced bromate, and has the same function, ive said we should investigate it. if a tiny amount of this chemAA has such a dramatic effect on dough, it is obviously very powerful as was bromate which was used in the same amounts as AA. This was my analogy about lysergic acid, and I could have added thalidomide or DDT or a host of other industrially produced chemicals, which used in tiny proportions caused damage out of proportion to the relative amount used. We have a simplistic notion that buckets of the stuff have to be used, and this is clearly not the case. I used the device of analogy to highlight this....and please, realise that air is not a chemically synthesised compound as is AA, the argument that everything is just chemicals isnt rational...AA doesnt exist outside chemical processes, it is within the Vitamin C complex, but as ive said, this isnt the AA being used by bakers.

Bromate wasnt discovered to be toxic for years...the same could be true ofAA, the truth is we just dont know, and I state this, but I suspect it and so do many others. I simply dont think its worth taking the risk when its not actually necessary to use it. I wouldnt want to unwittingly damage my customers health....to find out later that it causes some sort of damage...as was the case with bromate...and I re-iterate, its not necessary to use it....many of us have in the past and presently made plenty of loaves by hand with bad flour and 6 guys around a table for long periods and not used it....Poilane in Paris pumped out 30-40,000 loaves a week and didnt use it...perhaps the greates baker around, Richard Bourdin in the USA doesnt use it, neither does the grooviest baker around, Chad Morgan....and neither did any of the long line of artisans ever put anything like it in their dough...it is not necessary to use it.

I take Georges point that some people demand uniformity of loaves, well I used to send them to the other bakeries and told them to get real...this is artisan bread..it is consistent but it varies and so it should...with the flour, the weather etc..this is the essence of terroir that groovy chefs rave about but actually dont understand....uniformity is for factory bread...artisan bread reflects consensual reality, which is far from uniform. One of the old jokes is that people knew when the baker had had a big night, by looking at the bread, but they still buy it, and its still as good. One of the really disappointing aesthetics of recent sourdoughs is the boring bubbly crust glazed-from-too-much-steam and all-the-bloody-same look. Its almost as though some bakers want it to look like regular bread...it isnt and shouldnt attempt to be, and actually, ive found, customers love it, but it seems some recent bakers are scared or too timid to make it like it is, not like the bakery industry standards say it should be.     

My reasoning is that something weird is happening to the sourdough process when AA is used because obviously, as ive said, the gluten/gliadin matrix is not modified as it should be in a sourdough, so obviously, something is preventing the process from working...as can be seen...its why its used....to get that effect...now im speculating that the proteolytic enzymes may be deactivated, which is a reasonable speculation...if others have an idea of whats stopping the process from working naturally, well please say so...thats why I wrote the piece.

With opinions, one doesnt have to state verse and chapter...everything ive stated is largely from my observations over the years in many situations...this is a valid way of knowing....this is not a scientific paper, as i said at the beginning its my opinion.

That the UK committee on toxicology is investigating AA comes from "Kents Technology of Cereals", which as Im travelling I dont have with me to give you the page, but its in there..

You may think my article is over dramatised, but that is your opinion, I dont agree that my peice was dramatic at all....people have dramatised it by not actually reading what I said.

The bottom line is, and it cant be denied, AA affects the sourdough process somehow...otherwise you wouldnt be using it...why not try not to use it and have a benevolent approach to your customers rather than what I consider to be risky behavior.

This really has gone too far.

I said in a private message to another member that at least you had not brought thalidomide into the analogy - and lo and behold, now you have. Absolutely unbelievable, that you are trying to harness the awful horrors of thalidomide to your lone and misguided campaign.

As for Ascorbic Acid being investigated for toxicity - I'm sure that you are aware (and somehow failed to mention) that AA has been investigated many times for toxicity - as any compound in food or medicine is - and even at huge concentrations has ALWAYS been passed with flying colours. Many times. And that it is classed as a naturally occurring organic compound - and that the manufactured version (from glucose, using an enzymatic process) is identical to the natural version. 

There are thousands of compounds/substances which have a large effect in small quantity. But what does that prove? Our bodies rely on them, because they are mostly good. To indulge in scaremongering on that basis is pure ignorance... but you are not ignorant of it, just happy to promote ignorance to further your cause, whatever that might be.

I find it repugnant that, from your protected perch in the UK, you are willing to hurl all this mud which can do so much pointless damage to the artisan bread community in Australia, and Melbourne particularly. I know that this has been a long and lonely campaign for you, and that now as previously you have failed to get any major figures to join your bandwagon, indeed have alienated many of the luminaries of the craft. Histrionic polemics will do that.

 

 

JohnD:

Alarmingly, ascorbic acid is the chemical chosen in factory processes to replace it, as it performs the same function in bread making, and is itself under suspicion from some authorities…because blatantly obviously, if it has the same effect on dough as bromate, it may well have a similar sort of as yet undetected toxicity?

This may not be a direct quote indicating AA causes kidney damage, but the correlation has been implied implicitly to within in an inch of it being so. To your mind, it would appear you believe this to be the case and you are just waiting for the proof to prove you right. My interpretation or your opinion, and the comments of HopesHope and Natalie Drest back this association up ('Parmaceutical dependency'; 'dangers of AA'; 'bakers baking healthily') as my quotes above tried to illustrate, if it performs like bromate, then it must harm like bromate - that was your belief or caution to people. The reason for my concern was you were making this link without any justifed concern other than your own personal opinion. Nowhere have you provided any inkling for a reason to be afraid - third party investigation, current warning on usage level by Government or private institution / organisation, abnormal or out of the ordinary health issues that may indicate some causation with AA use in the immediate community. Nothing. Just pure gut feeling based on your own concern, along with a healthy disdain for its use in sourdough bread (and the food industry in general) as it wasn't your belief it needed to be used.

 

Initialy, I was concerned that general readers may stray onto this site following the article in The Age and read about the perceived dangers of AA use and be alarmed, which is the main reason I have spent so much time replying. Now, that you have so far been able to draw LSD, thalidomide and DDT into the discussion, not to mention the complete lack of external third party evidence or highlighted concern warranting investigation I am completely at rest to leave you to your little group to go on preaching your fire and brimstone doom. You have no case to plead, it's all piffle and hot air. (Natural piffle, not the chemical kind)

 

If anyone might have been able to teach the bakers of Melbourne (or elsewhere) how to lift their bread higher, it could rightly have been you but this has only driven the biggest wedge between any future conversation. That is the disappointing part.

 

p.s I have spoken to someone recently about chia flour, not the seed, flour. Expensive and imported but natural and very good at making bread dough with much improved gluten strength (but is gluten free)  and one of the higher sources of naturally occurring folate (not folic acid). I don't understand how it works but am willing to give it a shot. This could have been your suggestion or alternative, not a kick in the balls which is what I feel we all got. I'm going to try a small batch, and just to keep you somewhat happy I'll leave out the AA.

Still, not impressed.

 

Geoffy.

 

"without prejudice"

One has followed this debate for some years and cannot see what all the fuss is about

Simply and traditionally  'sourdough' bread is water, flour, salt and a starter (from only water & flour). 

In a discussion last week, with a retired colleague another traditional baker whom has spent most of his working career on semi-scotch oven's, laughed and said perhaps the younger bakers need to learn how to bake, chemicals make up for a lack of skill, chemical additives make modern baking virtually idiot proof.    

YES.. it is possible to bake a beautiful loaf with full bloom, great kick and deep golden caramalisation, with a wonderful crust and & crumb structure without resorting to chemical/modern additives to the loaf. 

Let us have truth in labelling and advertising!  

Anything else is a form of modern chemicalised bread, of which in itself is ok if that is what customers want, One objects the use of the word sourdough to a product that is not 100% sourdough.  

As for the term 'semi sourdough' that some bakeries use, what a joke, but then again one can suppose they are semi baker's as they do not have the skill set to bake an 100% traditional sourdough loaf and have not earned the right nor derserve the title of baker. The Journeyman baker earned his title and deserve rightly to be called a .master baker', unlike many of today's bakers who have graduated from Bucket Baking/IT/Design/Accountancy background with then a short stint often at woodfired bakery, then some media publicity and then to go on and call themselves 'artisan bakers' or should we as an industry refer to this modern breed as 'chemical artisan bakers' (CAB's not unlikened the modern plague of the consumerist society the CUB's - Cashed Up Bogan's )  

One issue that beggar's belief is those bakeries that go to all the trouble to use orangic flour and then add Ascorbic Acid, can they not see the paradox of their actions and lack of authenticity for the whole 'pure food' 'sourdough baking' process.

Some what of a rhetorical question: Perhaps we are better to use 'crap flour' than 'crap chemicals'?

 

Leaving aside the old forum red flag of someone who joins up just to make their first post in a controversial thread and posts in a remarkaby similar fashion/spelling/thought processes to someone else.... (but what do I know...)...  Nobody objects to any baker making their own decisions about what processes and ingredients they use - going your own way is pretty much what artisan baking is about, not following the industrial herd. The thing I don't like about aspects of this discussion is those who show such disrespect for those who have chosen to do it in a different way to the way they do it - that they can't help but abusing them. That's just a turn off.

Simply, If one wants to do their own thing, that is fine. 

If one wants to call what they bake sourdough then their should be standards that are adhered too.

Bake what ever you want but call it what it is.......If bread has additives in it then it is not sourdough, it is simply another version of  a modern commercial bread, lets 'call a spade a spade' and remember one cannot get a 'silk purse out of sow's ear'

Not being an IT or internet guru, but a traditonal baker, One is unaware of the protocol of not having my first post as a controversial post,  or crossing some epheral politically correct boundary. 

One respect's modern bakers, trational bakers, but not those that purport to be something they are not and those that are not a baker's bootsrap.  

Postsriptum ( yes.. what do you know??, One is his own man and not beholden to the masses (sheep & bus people)  and not someone else shock horror more than one person in this industry on this forum has tradtional views albeit they be non trendy..!!!)

...person I know who makes this rather peculiar claim... that even though bread goes through the well established, well defined, sourdough process, the addition of anything - no matter what - somehow negates all that has gone before. Sounds more like alchemy or mysticism to me, John. 

It is my understanding that under Australian worksafe legislation, that all places handlng chemicals must have a 'material safety data sheet' likewise in the UK. 

For the benefit of those that are using Ascorbic Acid - commonly referred to Vitamin C or a dough conditioner/ improver, below is a MSDS and the web link. 

http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/AS/ascorbic_acid.html 

Safety data for ascorbic acid
Glossary of terms on this data sheet.

The information on this web page is provided to help you to work safely, but it is intended to be an overview of hazards, not a replacement for a full Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). MSDS forms can be downloaded from the web sites of many chemical suppliers.
General
Synonyms: Vitamin C, l-ascorbic acid, l-(+)-ascorbic acid, l,3-ketothreohexuronic acid, 3-keto-l-gulofuranolactone, l-lyxoascorbic acid, AA, adenex, allercorb, antiscorbutic factor, ascoltin, ascorb, ascorbate, ascorbicab, ascrobin, ascorbutina, cantan, cebicure, cebid, cebion, cecon, cegiolan, ceglion, celin, cemagyl, cenetone, cenolate, cereon, cergona, cetamid, cetane, cevalin, proscorbin, vicin, vitace, vitacin, numerous further trade names


Use: vitamin - nutritional additive and antioxidant, widely-used preservative
Molecular formula: C6H8O6
CAS No: 50-81-7
EC No: 200-066-2
Physical data
Appearance: white to light yellow crystals or powder
Melting point: ca. 193 C (decomposes)
Boiling point:
Vapour density:
Vapour pressure:
Specific gravity:
1.65
Flash point:
Explosion limits:

Autoignition temperature: 660 C
Water solubility: high

Stability
Stable. May be weakly light or air sensitive. Incompatible with oxidizing agents, alkalies, iron, copper.

Toxicology
May be harmful if ingested in large quantity. May act as an irritant.

Toxicity data
(The meaning of any abbreviations which appear in this section is given here.)
ORL-RAT LD50 11900 mg kg-1
ORL-MUS LD50 3367 mg kg-1
IVN-MUS LD50 518 mg kg-1

Personal protection
None.

Safety phrases
(The meaning of any safety phrases which appear in this section is given here.)

[Return to Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Lab. Safety home page.]

This information was last updated on September 30, 2010. We have tried to make it as accurate and useful as possible, but can take no responsibility for its use, misuse, or accuracy. We have not verified this information, and cannot guarantee that it is up-to-date.

Note also that the information on the PTCL Safety web site, where this page was hosted, has been copied onto many other sites, often without permission. If you have any doubts about the veracity of the information that you are viewing, or have any queries, please check the URL that your web browser displays for this page. If the URL begins "http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/" the page is maintained by the Safety Officer in Physical Chemistry at Oxford University. If not, this page is a copy made by some other person and we have no responsibility for it. 

 http://www.inchem.org/documents/pims/pharm/ascorbic.htm#PartTitle:2. SUMMARY

Ascorbic acid1. NAME
1.1 Substance
1.2 Group
1.3 Synonyms
1.4 Identification numbers
1.4.1 CAS number
1.4.2 Other numbers
1.5 Main Brand names/main trade names
1.6 Main Manufacturers/main importers
1.7 Presentation/formulation
2. SUMMARY
2.1 Main risks and target organs
2.2 Summary of clinical effects
2.3 Diagnosis
2.4 First-aid measures and management principles
3. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
3.1 Origin of the substance
3.2 Chemical structure
3.3 Physical properties
3.3.1 Properties of the substance
3.3.1.1 Colour
3.2.1.2 State/Form
3.3.1.3 Description
3.3.2 Properties of the locally available formulation
3.4 Other characteristics
3.4.1 Shelf-life of the substance
3.4.2 Shelf-life of the locally available formulation
3.4.3 Storage conditions
3.4.4 Bioavailabality
3.4.5 Specific properties and composition
4. USES
4.1 Indications
4.1.1 Indications
4.1.2 Description
4.2 Therapeutic dosage
4.2.1 Adults
4.2.2 Children
4.3 Contraindications
5. ROUTES OF ENTRY
5.1 Oral
5.2 Inhalation
5.3 Dermal
5.4 Eye
5.5 Parenteral
5.6 Others
6. KINETICS
6.1 Absorption by route of exposure
6.2 Distribution by route of exposure
6.3 Biological half-life by route of exposure
6.4 Metabolism
6.5 Elimination by route of exposure
7. PHARMACOLOGY AND TOXICOLOGY
7.1 Mode of action
7.1.1 Toxicodynamics
7.1.2 Pharmacodynamics
7.2 Toxicity
7.2.1 Human data
7.2.1.1 Adults
7.2.1.2 Children
7.2.2 Relevant animal data
7.2.3 Relevant in vitro data
7.3 Carcinogenicity
7.4 Teratogenicity
7.5 Mutagenicity
7.6 Interactions
7.7 Main adverse effects
9. CLINICAL EFFECTS
9.1 Acute poisoning
9.1.1 Ingestion
9.1.2 Inhalation
9.1.3 Skin exposure
9.1.4 Eye contact
9.1.5 Parenteral exposure
9.1.6 Other
9.2 Chronic poisoning
9.2.1 Ingestion
9.2.2 Inhalation
9.2.3 Skin exposure
9.2.4 Eye contact
9.2.5 Parenteral exposure
9.2.6 Other
9.3 Course, prognosis, cause of death
9.4 Systematic description of clinical effects
9.4.1 Cardiovascular
9.4.2 Respiratory
9.4.3 Neurological
9.4.3.1 CNS
9.4.3.2 Peripheral nervous system
9.4.3.3 Autonomic nervous system
9.4.3.4 Skeletal and smooth muscle
9.4.4 Gastrointestinal
9.4.5 Hepatic
9.4.6 Urinary
9.4.6.1 Renal
9.4.6.2 Other
9.4.7 Endocrine and reproductive systems
9.4.8 Dermatological
9.4.9 Eye, ear, nose, throat: local effects
9.4.10 Haematological
9.4.11 Immunological
9.4.12 Metabolic
9.4.12.1 Acid-base disturbances
9.4.12.2 Fluid and electrolyte disturbances
9.4.12.3 Others
9.4.13 Allergic reactions
9.4.14 Other clinical effects
9.4.15 Special risks
9.5 Other
9.6 Summary
10. MANAGEMENT
10.1 General principles
10.2 Relevant laboratory analyses
10.2.1 Sample collection
10.2.2 Biomedical analysis
10.2.3 Toxicological analysis
10.2.4 Other investigations
10.3 Life supportive procedures and symptomatic/specific treatment
10.4 Decontamination
10.5 Elimination
10.6 Antidote treatment
10.6.1 Adults
10.6.2 Children
10.7 Management discussion
11. ILLUSTRATIVE CASES
11.1 Case reports from literature
11.2 Internally extracted data on cases
11.3 Internal cases
12. Additional information
12.1 Availability of antidotes
12.2 Specific preventive measures
12.3 Other
13. REFERENCES
14. AUTHOR(S), REVIEWER(S), DATE(S) (INCLUDING UPDATES), COMPLETE ADDRESS(ES)

 

Give one 'crap flour' over 'crap chemical additives', any day of the week.

The key to the MSDS is the section "Protection: None".

There would be very few substances handled within the workplace which, even when handled in large quantities, require absolutely no protective measures. So all this does is confirm something we all know, that AA is very safe.

Which begs the question of why you make the completely unsupported inference that AA is a "crap chemical additive". That displays an irrational mindset unsupported by any facts. Demonising anything, with nothing to back it up apart from superstition and emotional language, says more about the person doing the demonising than it does about any facts.

However, since you're appealing to the ignorant among us, why not go the whole hog and spill the beans on one of the major ingredients used in all kinds of baking, an ingredient which has a terrible history not of potential but of actual death and destruction linked to its use? This chemical (apologies for bringing up this bogeyman word designed to strike terror, fear and loathing into all who see it, but that's what it is, indisputably, a chemical) is responsible for many thousands of deaths every year, possibly even millions, yet shamefully the authorities do nothing. I've tried to eliminate it from my sourdough bread, but I just don't have the skills, sadly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, that's right. It's water, one of the most dangerous chemical substances known to man.

Unsupported inference.
by Kymh · More by this author { 2011 August 22 }

The key to the MSDS is the section "Protection: None".

Just aswell it is none, could one imagine having to suit up and use a respirator to handle it. Protection refer's to what if any PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) needs to be used to handle the chemical.

There would be very few substances handled within the workplace which, even when handled in large quantities, require absolutely no protective measures. So all this does is confirm something we all know, that AA is very safe. 

Really? Or is the jury still out? Aspestos (along with a raft of other products and chemicals) were once considered safe? Iodine is considered safe, unless of course one has thyroidtoxycosis or certain heart conditions, then it can be life threatening.  

Which begs the question of why you make the completely unsupported inference that AA is a "crap chemical additive".

Yes... following the lines of this discussion with the generic use of the word 'crap'. The comment is  tongue in cheek from reference to the Crap flour comment in The Age article, if one section of the baking industry can refer to crap flour, then one can refer to crap chemicals. 

That displays an irrational mindset unsupported by any facts. Demonising anything, with nothing to back it up apart from superstition and emotional language, says more about the person doing the demonising than it does about any facts. 

The references on MSDS & health issues are not unsuported and can be readily read, as the URL is provided.  Have really posted to them to show once and for all that AA is a chemical additive and it is not natural to Sourdough. How can one claim to have an organic or natural or soughdough food that has a modern synthersized chemical within its list of ingredients.  

However, since you're appealing to the ignorant among us, why not go the whole hog and spill the beans on one of the major ingredients used in all kinds of baking, an ingredient which has a terrible history not of potential but of actual death and destruction linked to its use? This chemical (apologies for bringing up this bogeyman word designed to strike terror, fear and loathing into all who see it, but that's what it is, indisputably, a chemical) is responsible for many thousands of deaths every year, possibly even millions, yet shamefully the authorities do nothing. I've tried to eliminate it from my sourdough bread, but I just don't have the skills, sadly.  

(Yes, one can understand the issues 'you' have with skills, if 'you' struggle to make 'sourdough' without additives, )  

Yes, that's right. It's water, one of the most dangerous chemical substances known to man.

Water is the staff of life, without it as one and all know life on this planet would not be, contrary to additives in our food chain.  One has not objection to what anyone wants to make food with, as long as they label and sell it for what it really is....?? 

It is not that hard, SoughDough is Water-Flour-Salt-Starter (Water-Flour) and not anything else. Anything else added to bread is fine, but it is not sourdough but chemicalised modern bread. 

If people want to make crap bread and people want to buy crap bread, then so be it, all one asks for is standards,truth in labelling and point of sale. 


"The references on MSDS & health issues are not unsuported and can be readily read, as the URL is provided.  Have really posted to them to show once and for all that AA is a chemical additive and it is not natural to Sourdough. How can one claim to have an organic or natural or soughdough food that has a modern synthersized chemical within its list of ingredients.'

 

Yes, thanks for posting both of those, which are similar to dozens of documents, which like them show that there are no issues with AA in normal quantities. If on the other hand you are unfortunate enough to have suffered life-threatening burns, and have the double misfortune to run into a crank peddling unfounded, unscientific ideas who takes it on himself to inject 80 grams (!!) of the stuff direct into your veins, not once but twice... then yes, you have a problem.

 

Look John, I don't know why you continually obfuscate the facts and paint AA as an evil chemical, when quite clearly it's not - if it was, such a commonplace substance would have failed the many examinations it has been subject to (witness your two links), but in fact it always passes with flying colours. To again refute your misinformation, AA is a naturally occurring organic substance, which is one of the most widespread substances in nature - it exists widely within living organisms, including animals and humans, fruits and vegetables, even the soil. The form which is manufactured from glucose, using one of 3 different methods, is identical to that found in nature... so bang goes your theory of being an "evil chemical".

 

"Water is the staff of life"

 

Oh, lovely, lovely. Selective much? So, we put on our rose coloured glasses to describe one chemical as the staff of life, but don black hood and cloak to call an equally innocent, neutral chemical as "a modern chemical isolate" (not correct).

 

This guilt by association is one of the most ridiculous strategies I can think of. Imagine if we applied it to other aspects of life... so the whole of humanity should be avoided because of some baddun's - Hitler, Stalin, Amin - despite the examples of JS Bach, St Francis, Nelson Mandela. Likewise the demonisation of science, and the profoundly dishonest association of any capriciously selected substance with the horrors of thalidomide, DDT, asbestos, despite the huge advances brought about in science and medicine which benefit us all... including a doubling of life expectancy! Life, science, medicine - even baking - are not inherently good or evil, it's what we make of them.

 

As for additives, you add salt to your dough, and I have seen you extol the virtues of various sea salts... whose added benefits come from trace amounts of... chemicals! But of course, we view those chemicals through our rose coloured glasses, so they can only be good, right?

 

I think it's time to  dispense with the mythology, the demonisation and the superstition, and apply rigorous, unbiased intellect to breadmaking, as to everything else, so that it too is not held back by ignorance. We are all free to make our own choices, and shouldn't be attacked for doing so.

Thank's for the compliment, but I am not John, I am Stefen, if you like to let me know what bakery you work at I can  come in and introduce myself and clear up the delusions that I am John.

.....................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Ascorbic Acid is a form of Vitamin C, yes Ascorbic acid does form in nature, which is different to the Ascorbic Acid (that should be referred to by its correct chemical name is L-ascorbic acid )  that is syntherized in a chemical plant for inclusion in modern crap food production.  Most of the L-ascorbic acid used in the food industry is uses as an antioxidant. At the lastest production figures 80%+/-  of the food additive L-ascorbic acid is produce in China. 

(Personally would I use any food additive that is produced in China, with its track record on chemical and food production, the answer is a resounding NO) 

 

What intellect needs to be applied to 4000+ years of unleavened and leavened bread making?

Simply: Water-Flour-Salt-Leaven = Simply 'sourdough bread' anthing else is modern chemical bread. 

 

An article on the Importance of Salt: Salt is a biological necessity of human life. 

http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/~gel115/salt.html    

All one asks for is standards, truth in labelling

 

Well, how hard is this? How old is the artisan bread industry in Australia, and now in 2011 they still haven't been able to put anything in place? Why? Because people have been on religious crusades and pissed everybody off, instead of dealing with it realistically and intelligently? 

By not doing so (in what, three, four decades?! - gawd, even the Irish sorted out their differences in that period), they have left the playing field wide open for any Tom, Dick and Harry to call anything "sourdough". And whose fault is that? How naive can you be to think that you can leave a vacuum, and that it won't be filled.

How hard is it..?? it would appear very hard, especially when money is involved and now everyone wants to cash in on natural, slow & green. How hard is it when most of the baking industry cannot see what is wrong with adding crap chemicals to bread then passing it off as 100%, Original, Real, Organic,,,,,, Sourdough. 


 

One has,  as have many others lobbied for truth in labelling laws for many decades, it would seem that the governement and more intent on listening to stronger economik forces. One only has to look at how the industry was treated in relation to extra vitamins and minerals being added to bread as in Folate to flour and Iodised Salt. 

 

It is such a crime to be asked for food to be labelled and represented as it it?

EVERY AUSTRALIAN HAS RIGHT TO DEMAND THIS, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD HAS A RIGHT TO DEMAND CORRECT FOOD LABELLING.

 


 

 

What, after all these decades, you can make no progress? That either reveals a lack of will, or a campaign which was faulty from the start. Crying "poor little me" just doesn't even begin to wash after all this time. Or maybe you were more interested in sniping at those who are still in the industry, and couldn't care less about the damage you do. The industrial bread producers must be laughing all the way to the bank.

And why do I say your view is completely disingenuous? Because every other interest group has been able to organise themselves to establish industry standards, which, even if they are not the law of the country, are enforceable against the members of that interest group. Australian artisan bakers look more like a gaggle of screeching geese by comparison, and so let all and sundry appropriate the term "sourdough" for whatever they want to slap it on. 

For many years the baking industry has been dominated by major food processors and major bakeries with political clout and might. Their has always been a chasim between the 'Craftman Baker' and the 'Bucket Baker'. 

Perhaps the best way to get the pollies to listen to us is to raise these issues in forum's like this one and start a grass root movement. With the fotisfied bread -folate /iodine debate was fought hard, but fell on deaf ears in Canberra.

For those of us that bake 'Soughdought' the was it has been baked for 4000yrs benefit from these debates, as do the community by once again getting access to 'genuine real food' not chemicalised crap.

It is all about choices, if consumers know what they are buying they can make an informed choice.

Hence we need correct labelling laws and openly displayed point of sale advertising rules.  Hence if people are happy to buy modern chemised breat they can and alternatively if they wish to buy tradtional  wholesome sourdough bread they can. Look at the bakeries that bake bake with just four-water-salt- leaven, they have loyal customers and most day sell out of bread.
 

 

One takes on board what you raise about getting a combined lobby going, thus One propose's here and now lets start an Australian version of the real bread campaign...!! 

http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/what_is_real_bread/

Oh yes, it's always the pollies' fault, or that everyone's against you.

Only, it's not, is it. Again, there's never been anything to stop you or anyone else forming an industry accreditation group, and shouting your message from the rooftops. Plenty of others have done it.

The fact that it hasn't happened after 40 years or so is an indictment of the "leaders" of the artisan bakery movement and their shortsightedness. No point bleating about how awful it is and how everyone's out to get you. The failure lies at your feet, and until you do something serious (and I don't mean coat-tailing on a UK campaign under a pseudonym!), why would anyone take you seriously?

Stefen is not a pseudonym, it is my name, what would you prefer one to call one's self?   

If we can get get traction on our own, why not join forces with Real Bread and create a global campaign,mabye then pollies will take notice.  

Would be great to have a standard for Sourdough, heaven know's one has being one of the lone voices in the wilderness calling for this since the advent of the yuppie bucket artisan baker of our modern times. 

Water-Flour-Salt-Levain anything else is modern chemalised bread.

If those in Canberra will not listen, nor will the industry Associations (lobby) listen, then's lets make them listen, start our own campaign for Real Bread and Real Food AND REAL Honest Labelling laws.

This is one of the articles I read regarding ascorbic acid as a food additive.  I'm trying to find the other one.

 

Antioxidants stop fats and oils from going rancid; for instance, ascorbic acid in butter. BHA and the related compound butylate hydroxy toluene have been used for years, mostly in products that are high in fats and oils and as an preservative for dry types, such as cereals. They slow the development of off-flavors, odors, and color changes caused by oxidation. Some report problems of rashes, hives, and occasionally tight chests. Studies show this to cause tumors in fish, hamsters, mice and rats.

 

 

 

Synthetic vitamins are one of the biggest deceptions of all. Synthetic vitamins are not nourishing to the soul; they may be killing you instead of helping you. These types are mirror images and the opposite of the real thing. Ascorbic acid is another fake synthetic chemical. Most are common food additives.

 

http://www.appliedozone.com/riskstwo.html

 

 

An interesting read by a Dr.....

http://www.whale.to/a/shea1.html 

The link's broken, but go to its home page...that's a fine upstanding list of topics, giving me enormous confidence in your sources, John (though why am I not surprised):

 

The Reign of Evil

Luciferian symbology
Fear Inc
Murder Inc
Mass Murder Inc
Conspiracies
Disease Inc
AIDS Inc
Cancer Inc
Death Towers
Human Abuse
Chemtrails
Depleted Uranium
Terrorism Inc
7/7
Drug Inc
Dope Inc
Big Oil
War Inc
Sex Inc
Junk Food Inc

Church of Satan News

 

(now, that last one must be a helluva read......) 

 

Yes, One does love a laugh, sharing a good coffee, natural loaf of Sourdough and a slab of cheese.   

Cheers

 

ps... that is REAL BREAD Sough Dough without crap modern chemicals...! 


 

My link is not broken on my computer and points to no such "STUFF" 

For the benefit of those wtih a broken link I post...

 

WHOLE FOOD VITAMINS: Ascorbic Acid is Not Vitamin C

By Dr. Tim O'Shea


This will be a short chapter, but after you're finished with it, you will know more about vitamins than 95% of clinical nutritionists, doctors, supplement sales force, or bodybuilders. If that sounds arrogant or overstated, it really isn't my fault. I'm just a messenger; a purveyor of information. Either I'm right or the 95% are right; can't be both.
Without further ado, here's the kernel: ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. Alpha tocopherol is not vitamin E. Retinoic acid is not vitamin A. And so on through the other vitamins. Vast sums of money have been expended to make these myths part of Conventional Wisdom. If you have several college degrees and all this is news to you, don't feel bad. Unless you think your education ended at Commencement. Which is generally true.
WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS

Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes. They are multi-step biochemical interactions whose action is dependent upon a number of variables within the biological terrain. Vitamin activity only takes place when all conditions are met within that environ-ment, and when all co-factors and components of the entire vitamin complex are present and working together. Vitamin activity is even more than the sum of all those parts; it also involves timing.

Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate.

A vitamin is: "... a working process consisting of the nutrient, enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, and trace minerals activators."
- Royal Lee "What Is a Vitamin?" Applied Trophology, Aug. 1956
FORGOTTEN TRAILBLAZER

Dr. Royal Lee was the pioneer researcher in the field of whole food vitamins. For decades he documented the basic facts summarized in this chapter. His work has never been scientifically refuted. Anyone who seriously undertakes the study of vitamins today corroborates Lee's work.

His story is a fascinating study in itself, a study of indomitable perseverance in the pursuit of true principles. Jensen tells us that Royal Lee's work will not be appreciated until the next century.

Hasn't happened yet.

Lee felt the full weight of organized drugs/medicine bearing down on him. Reading like something out of Schindler's List, we learn that the FDA not only persecuted Lee for challenging the economics of synthetic vitamins, produced by giant drug companies, but that he was actually ordered by a court to burn all his research of the past 20 years! Burn his research! When has that ever happened in this country? They didn't even do that to Larry Flynt.

Going off on a tangent, ever wondered how the FDA attained its present position as attack dog for the drug companies and food manufacturers? It's another whole story in itself. The precursor of the FDA was the Bureau of Chemistry. Up until 1912 the Bureau of Chemistry was headed up by a man named Dr. Harvey W. Wiley.

Here's a quote from Dr. Wiley that illustrates where his interests lay:

"No food product in our country would have any trace of benzoic acid, sulfurous acid or sulfites or any alum or saccharin, save for medical purposes. No soft drink would contain caffeine or theobromine. No bleached flour would enter interstate commerce. Our foods and drugs would be wholly without any form of adulteration and misbranding. The health of our people would be vastly improved and the life greatly extended. The manufacturers of our food supply, and especially the millers, would devote their energies to improving the public health and promoting happiness in every home by the production of whole ground, unbolted cereal flours and meals."

- The History of a Crime Against the Pure Food Law, 1912

Now obviously we can't have a dangerous lunatic like this in charge of the public nutrition, can we? Dr. Wiley actually filed suit against the Coca-Cola company in an attempt to keep their artificial product out of interstate commerce, and off the market. Fortunately Wiley was eventually replaced by a saner individual, more attuned to the real nutritional needs of the American people, as determined by the experts who knew what was best for us: the food manufacturers. This was Dr. Elmer Nelson, and in his words we get an idea of the change in philosophy that marked the transformation of the Bureau of Chemistry into the FDA:

'It is wholly unscientific to state that a well-fed body is more able to resist disease than a poorly-fed body. My overall opinion is that there hasn't been enough experimentation to prove that dietary deficiencies make one susceptible to disease."

- Elmer Nelson MD, Washington Post 26 Oct 49

Bernard Jensen illustrates how the tobacco industry and the food giants like Coke were indirectly behind the legal persecution of Royal Lee. Cigarette ads in the 40s and 50s showed medical doctors promoting the digestive benefits of smoking Camels. Or the advertising of Coke and other refined sugar foods stating that "science has shown how sugar can help keep your appetite and weight under control." (Empty Harvest)
During this same period, Royal Lee was kept in courts for years, fighting to keep the right to advertise his vitamin products, because he was a threat to the food manufacturers. Lee knew they were poisoning the American public. He proved that refined sugars and devitalized, bleached flours were destroying the arteries and the digestive system, causing heart disease and cancer.
WHOLE VS. FRACTIONATED

OK, natural vs. synthetic. Let's start with Vitamin C. Most sources equate vitamin C with ascorbic acid, as though they were the same thing. They're not. Ascorbic acid is an isolate, a fraction, a distillate of naturally occurring vitamin C. In addition to ascorbic acid, vitamin C must include rutin, bioflavonoids, Factor K, Factor J, Factor P, Tyrosinase, Ascorbinogen, and other components as shown in the figure below:

______________A s c o r b i c A c i d ______________


ascorbinogen
bioflavonoids
rutin
tyrosinase
Factor J
Factor K
Factor P


In addition, mineral co-factors must be available in proper amounts.

If any of these parts are missing, there is no vitamin C, no vitamin activity. When some of them are present, the body will draw on its own stores to make up the differences, so that the whole vitamin may be present. Only then will vitamin activity take place, provided that all other conditions and co-factors are present. Ascorbic acid is described merely as the "antioxidant wrapper" portion of vitamin C; ascorbic acid protects the functional parts of the vitamin from rapid oxidation or breakdown. (Somer p 58 "Vitamin C: A Lesson in Keeping An Open Mind" The Nutrition Report)
Over 90% of ascorbic acid in this country is manufactured at a facility in Nutley, New Jersey, owned by Hoffman-LaRoche, one of the world's biggest drug manufacturers (1 800 526 0189). Here ascorbic acid is made from a process involving cornstarch and volatile acids. Most U.S. vitamin companies then buy the bulk ascorbic acid from this single facility. After that, marketing takes over. Each company makes its own labels, its own claims, and its own formulations, each one claiming to have the superior form of vitamin C, even though it all came from the same place, and it's really not vitamin C at all.
FRACTIONATED = SYNTHETIC = CRYSTALLINE = FAKE

The word synthetic means two things:

- manmade
- occurs nowhere in nature

From the outset, it is crucial to understand the difference between vitamins and vitamin activity. The vitamin is the biochemical complex. Vitamin activity means the actual biological and cellular changes that take place when the stage is set for the vitamin complex to act.

Think of it like gas and a car. Pumping the gas into the tank doesn't necessarily mean the car is going anywhere. Other conditions and factors must be also present, in order for Activity to occur. The gas line to the carburetor must be clear, the carburetor jets must be set, there must be an exact mixture of air flow, the ignition must be turned on, the spark plugs must be clean, the exact amount of gas must reach each spark plug right before it fires, no gas must be left over in the cylinder after the plug fires. Getting the idea? If any of this stuff is missing, there's no Activity: the car doesn't run, or at least not very well.
Amazing as it may sound if you're hearing this for the first time, vitamins are more than the synthetic fractions we are commonly taught they are. The ascorbic acid you buy at the grocery store every few weeks, thinking you are buying Vitamin C, is just a chemical copy of naturally occurring ascorbic acid, which itself is still only a fraction of the actual Vitamin C. Real vitamin C is part of something living, and as such, can impart life. Your synthetic, fractionated chemical ascorbic acid never grew in the ground, never saw the light of day, never was alive or part of anything alive. It's a chemical, a cornstarch derivative, a sulfuric acid by-product. In your body it's just another drug. Synthetic vitamins have toxic effects from mega-doses and actually can increase the white blood cell count. Vitamins are only necessary in minute quantities on a daily basis. Whole food vitamins, by contrast, are not toxic since the vitamin is complexed in its integral working form, and requires nothing from the body, and triggers no immune response.
DEFICIENCY

Scurvy is a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy is characterized by bleeding gums, slow wound healing, softening bones, loose teeth, ulcerations of the mouth and digestive tract, general weight loss and fatigue. From 1650 to 1850 half of all seamen on transoceanic voyages died of scurvy. It was discovered by ship surgeon Thomas Lind in the early 1800s that British sailors were spared the disease altogether simply by a diet rich in citrus fruits. Since limes traveled well, they were the common choice during the early years, and thus the expression "limeys" was coined to describe British sailors. It was later found both at sea and in prison fare that potatoes were equally successful in preventing scurvy, and much cheaper to obtain. (Lancet. 1842)

We find that there is less than 20 mg of ascorbic acid in a potato. Yet this small amount, since it is complexed in a food source, is all the body needs not only to prevent scurvy, but also to cure it, even in its advanced state. Such a remedy is described in detail in Richard Dana's amazing journal Two Years Before the Mast, written in 1840.

Whole food vitamin C as found in potatoes, onions, and citrus fruits is able to quickly cure any case of scurvy. By contrast, the fractionated chemical ascorbic acid has been shown to be insufficient in resolving a scurvy condition, simply because it does not act as a nutrient. (Lancet 1842)

Ascorbic acid simply cannot confer vitamin activity, as taught by the discoverer of vitamin C himself, another Nobel Prize laureate, Dr. Albert Szent-Georgi.

Szent-Georgi discovered vitamin C in 1937. In all his research however, Szent-Georgi found that he could never cure scurvy with the isolated ascorbic acid itself. Realizing that he could always cure scurvy with the "impure" vitamin C found in simple foods, Szent-Georgi discovered that other factors had to be at work in order for vitamin activity to take place. So he returned to the laboratory and eventually made the discovery of another member of the vitamin C complex, as shown in the diagram above: rutin. All the factors in the complex, as Royal Lee and Dr. Szent-Georgi both came to understand, ascorbic acid, rutin, and the other factors, were synergists: co-factors which together sparked the "functional interdependence of biologically related nutrient factors." ( Empty Harvest p120) The term "wheels within wheels" was used to describe the interplay of co-factors.

Each of the other synergists in the C complex has a separate function:

- P factors for blood vessel strength,
- J factors for oxygen-carrying capacity of red cells,
- tyrosinase as an essential enzyme for enhancing white blood cell effectiveness.

Ascorbic acid is just the antioxidant outer shell - the protector of all these other synergists so that they will be able to perform their individual functions.

Dr. Royal Lee's phrase "biological wheels within wheels" always comes up in any discussion of whole food vitamins. Essentially it means that individual synergists cannot function as a vitamin in a chemically isolated form, like ascorbic acid. Vitamins are living complexes which contribute to other higher living complexes - like cell repair, collagen manufacture, and maintenance of blood circulation. Ascorbic acid is not a living complex. It is a copy of a part of a living complex known as vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a fractionated, crystalline isolate of vitamin C.

Why are you a high school graduate or a college graduate or a doctor, and you don't know this? Because drug manufacturers like things clean and simple and cheap to produce. To this simple fact add the politics which always comes into play when anyone mentions the word "billions," and you are beginning to get the idea about where to begin your investigation. Burned his research???
DIETARY SOURCES

Most vitamins cannot be made by the body. They must be taken in as food. The best sources then are obviously whole foods, rich in vitamins. Because of soil depletion, mineral depletion, pesticides, air pollution, and erosion, it is common knowledge that foods grown in American soil today have only a fraction of the nutrient value of 50 years ago. That means a fraction of the vitamins and minerals necessary for normal human cell function. Royal Lee described the American diet as the cultivation and production of "devitalized foods." Dr. Weston Price describes these empty products as the "foods of commerce." Think it's gotten better or worse since their time? Thus the necessity for supplementation.

Vitamins and minerals are not functionally separable. They make each other work. Example: vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. Copper is necessary for vitamin C activity. And so on. Mineral deficiencies can cause vitamin deficiencies, and vice versa. Epidemic mineral deficiency in America is a well-documented result of systematic soil depletion.
So that is the other prime difference between whole food vitamins and synthetics: whole food vitamins contain within them many essential trace minerals necessary for their synergistic operation. Synthetic vitamins contain no trace minerals, relying on, and depleting, the body's own mineral reserves.
FUNNY FARMS

Following the German agricultural methods of Von Leibig in the mid-1800s, American farmers found that NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) was all that was necessary for crops to look good. (Frost p7) As long as NPK is added to the soil, crops can be produced and sold year after year from the same soil. They look OK. But the other necessary trace minerals vital for human nutrition are virtually absent from most American soil after all these years. Many of these minerals, such as zinc, copper, and magnesium, are necessary co-factors of vitamin activity. Depleted topsoil is one simple, widespread mechanism of both vitamin and mineral deficiency in American produce today. This doesn't even take into account the tons of poisonous herbicides and pesticides dumped on crops. According to the UN, two million tons of pesticides are used worldwide annually. (Jensen, p69)
American agri-business has one motive: profit. Such a focus has resulted in an output of empty produce and a nation of unhealthy people. The earth's immune system is its soil. To be vital and capable of growing vital foods, soil must be rich in both minerals and soil-based organisms - life forms. Healthy produce naturally resists insects. Insects are like bad bacteria in the body: they are attracted to diseased tissue, though they do not cause it.
THE FOODS OF COMMERCE

And we're still only talking about people who actually eat raw fruits and vegetables, which is a minority. Processed food composes the majority of what most Americans eat. The only nutrients in most processed foods are "enriched" and "fortified" as described below.

When a doctor says that food supplements are all unnecessary because we can get everything we need from our food, that doctor is lacking basic information published and agreed upon by his own peers. Whether or not we need supplementation is no longer an issue, except for one who is totally out of touch. The issue is what kind and how much. Vitamin and mineral deficiency can be tagged to practically ANY disease syndrome known to man. DW Cavanaugh, MD of Cornell University actually concluded that

"There is only one major disease, and that is malnutrition." (Jensen, p8)
Malnutrition of the affluent is the natural result of the foods of commerce.
WEBSURFING

The best vitamins are called whole food vitamins . It will be difficult finding this out on the Internet, however, because the Web is dominated by mainstream nutritional theory. In the area of vitamins, the Internet is 99% marketing; 1% actual information.

There are about 110 companies who sell vitamins in the US. Less than 5 of them use whole food vitamins. The reason is simple: whole food vitamins are expensive to make. A few of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world mass produce synthetic vitamins for the vast majority of these 110 "vitamin" companies, who then put their own label on them, and every company claims theirs is the best! It's ridiculous! Americans spend over $9 billion per year for synthetic vitamins. (Frost p2)

Whole food vitamins are obtained by taking a vitamin-rich plant, removing the water and the fiber in a cold vacuum process, free of chemicals, and then packaging for stability. The entire vitamin complex in this way can be captured intact, retaining its "functional and nutritional integrity." (DeCava p.23.)

Upon ingestion, the body is not required to draw on its own reserves in order to complete any missing elements from the vitamin complex.
Mainstream marketing of vitamins and minerals has successfully created the myth that vitamins and minerals may be isolated from each other, that correct amounts may be measured out, and then we can derive total benefit from taking these fractionated chemical creations. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Vitamins and minerals, and also enzymes, work closely together as co-factors for each other's efficacy. If one part is missing, or in the wrong form or the wrong amount, entire chains of metabolic processes will not proceed normally. Result: downward spiraling of health, probably imperceptible for long periods of time.
MARKETING AND PROMOTION

What is the marketing philosophy behind the prevalence of the type of synthetic vitamins available in the supermarket and mall vitamin stores? Simple: profit above all else. Once the public is shown that vitamin supplementation is necessary, the rest is marketing. Marketing is the art of persuading by suspending logic and twisting data into junk science. Example: what's the actual difference in compo-sition between Wheaties and Total, two cereals put out by the same company? Total is advertised as being much more nutrient-rich than "ordinary" Wheaties. Look at the labels. What justifies the extra $1.30 for a box of Total? Answer: 1.5¢ worth of synthetic vitamins sprayed over the Wheaties. That's it! That's what "vitamin enriched" always means. The other trick word is "fortified." Generally that means that the food itself is devoid of nutrients or enzymes, so they tried to pump it up a little with some "vitamins." Cheap synthetic vitamin sprays are all that is required for the manufacturer to use labels like "enriched" and "fortified." These words are red flags - if a food needs to be fortified or enriched, you can bet it was already dead.

The mega-vitamin theory doesn't really hold when it comes to synthetics: If A Little Is Good, More Is Better. Macro doses of vitamin E, and also vitamin D have been shown to decrease immune function significantly. (DeCava.) It stands to reason. Vitamins by definition are necessary in phenomenally small doses. The discoverer of thiamine, a B vitamin, and the man who came up with the word vitamin, Dr. Casimir Funk, has this to say about synthetics:

"Synthetic vitamins: these are highly inferior to vitamins from natural sources, also the synthetic product is well known to be far more toxic."

Nutrition authority DeCava describes it:

"Natural food-source vitamins are enzymatically alive. Man-made synthetic vitamins are dead chemicals. "

- The Real Truth About Vitamins, p 209

Oxymorons: military intelligence, rap music, synthetic vitamins.

The marketing of fractionated crystalline synthetic vitamins has been so successful that most nutritionists and doctors are unaware that there is something missing from these "vitamins." Vitamin manufacturers compete for customers with identical products - they all bought their synthetic vitamins from the same couple of drug companies. To differentiate their product, each makes claims of "high potency." Our vitamins are higher potency than theirs, etc. The point is, the higher the potency, the more the drug-like effects are present. Natural whole food vitamins are very low potency. Remember the 20mg of vitamin C in a potato that was able to cure a patient of scurvy? That was low potency.
Low potency is all we need. Low potency is enough to bring about vitamin activity. High potency overshoots the mark - the chemical is very pure and refined, like the difference between white sugar and the type of sugar that's in an apple.
THE MILLIGRAM GAME

Generally speaking, if milligrams are being discussed at length, the author has no clue about vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are refined, high potency chemicals, and therefore may be accurately measured in milligrams, just like drugs. This has nothing to do with vitamin activity or nutrition, except in a negative way.
HALF THE STORY

The same type of incomplete action can be seen with any synthetic vitamin. Let's take beta carotene for a minute, which the body can turn into vitamin A. Now you'll remember that vitamin A is necessary for good eyesight, DNA synthesis, and protects cells from free radicals. A study reported in Apr 94 in the NEJM of some 30,000 Finnish subjects showed conclusively that synthetic vitamin A had no antioxidant effect whatsoever. A true antioxidant helps to protect heart muscle, lungs, and artery surfaces from breaking down prematurely. In this study, the subjects who received the synthetic beta carotene actually had an 8% higher incidence of fatal heart attacks, strokes, and lung cancer than those who got the placebo (sugar pill). Stands to reason: the synthetic brought no vitamin activity to the tissues that needed it. As a dead, purified chemical introduced into the body, the synthetic further stressed the immune system, the liver, and the kidneys which all had to try to break down this odd chemical and remove it from the body. It would be bad enough if they were harmless, but synthetic vitamins actually have a net negative effect.

Vitamin A was first discovered in 1919. By 1924, it had been broken down and separated from its natural whole food complex: "purified." By 1931, LaRoche - one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, even today - had succeeded in "synthesizing" vitamin A. That means they had created a purely chemical copy of a fraction of naturally occurring vitamin A. Naturally occurring vitamin A is found associated with an entire group of other components:

- Retinols
- Retinoids
- Retinal
- Carotenoids
- Carotenes
- Fatty acids
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin D
- Enzymes
- Minerals

- Vitamins and Minerals, Somer 1992

Isolated from these other factors, vitamin A is a fraction which cannot perform its biological functions. Taken as a synthetic, it must then draw on this list of resources already in the body in order to complete its make-up. Whole food vitamin A, by contrast, is already complete and ready to go.

Most synthetic vitamin A consists only of retinal, retinol, or retinoic acid. The well-publicized potential for toxicity with mega doses of vitamin A involves one of these three. Vitamin A toxicity, known as hypervitaminosis, always results from an excess of synthetic, "purified" vitamin A, and never from whole food vitamin A. (DeCava, p 86) Effects of vitamin A toxicity include:

- tumor enhancement
- joint disorders
- osteoporosis
- extreme dryness of eyes, mouth and skin,
- enlargement of liver and spleen
- immune depression
- birth defects

Beta carotene is a precursor the body can convert to vitamin A. Unfortunately, as a supplement, synthetic beta carotene is usually "stabilized" in refined vegetable oils. In this trans fatty acid form, oxidation occurs and the chemically "pure" beta carotene can no longer act as a nutrient, because it was changed. Almost all synthetic beta carotene is produced by the Swiss drug giant Hoffman-LaRoche. This form can no longer be converted to vitamin A. The best it can be is worthless, and at the worst is toxic.

Natural vitamin A and beta carotene are well known as immune boosters and cancer fighters, in their role as antioxidants. Synthetic vitamin A by contrast has actually brought about significant increases in cancer. A study done in Finland provided smokers with large doses of synthetic beta carotene. Lung cancer incidence increased 18%! (NEJM Apr 94 " The Alpha Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group")

These findings were corroborated two years later in another study written up in Lancet. Pharma-cologic doses of synthetic beta carotenes were found to block the antioxidant activity of the other 50 naturally occurring carotenoids in the diet. Anti-cancer activity was thus blocked by the synthetic. (Lancet 1996)
With the vast outpouring of wrong information about vitamins A and C, the findings of a 1991 article in Health Counselor are no surprise: 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin A and 41% are deficient in vitamin C. Synthetic vitamins cannot prevent deficiencies.
FAKE VITAMIN B

In one experiment, synthetic vitamin B (thiamine) was shown to render 100% of a group of pigs sterile! 100% would be considered a significant finding. (Dr. Barnett Sure, Journ Natr 1939) Perhaps the fact that synthetic vitamin B comes from coal tar, maybe that has something to do with it, you think? Then there's vitamin B12, which comes from activated sewage sludge. (Frost p 60) Been shooting blanks since you started on those multi's?

For the licensed dieticians and clinical nutritionists reading this in disbelief because it is too "unscientific," consider the way Theron Randolph MD delineated between natural and synthetic:
"A synthetically derived substance may cause a reaction in a chemically susceptible person when the same material of natural origin is tolerated, despite the two substances having identical chemical structures. The point is illustrated by the frequency of clinical reactions to synthetic vitamins - especially vitamin B1 and C - when the [same] naturally occurring vitamins are tolerated."
IRRADIATION

According to Los Angeles naturopath, Dr. Jack Singh, all commercial lecithins in supplements, as well as most vitamin D, comes from irradiated vegetable oils. That's rancid, oxidizing trans fatty acids! A birthday party of free radicals. This is the precise mechanism for arterial wall breakdown prior to plaque deposits, then arteriosclerosis, then heart disease. I thought we were supposed to be taking vitamins to stay healthy!
LOST HORIZON

Why is this information so difficult to find? It's in none of the "alternative" health 'zines, or any of the mainstream media. Alternative-Lite guru Julian Whittaker, in his summer 1998 newsletter actually had the temerity to state outright "Synthetic vitamins and whole food vitamins are identical." I'm sure his synthetic vitamin company and all its retailers were reassured by this incredibly arrogant and flagrantly inaccurate pronouncement. But who is objecting? Only those clients of the 5 companies who know enough to take whole food vitamins, because they have become educated to realize the difference. These are the vast minority, having no control of the media.

Royal Lee and Harvey Wiley lost. Nobody knows who they are today, except we few. This is no accident. What everybody does know is Pepsi and Viagra and Wonder Bread and prednisone and Double Whoppers with Cheese and Zantac and Baskin Robbins and Long's Drug Store. And grocery store vitamins: synthetic vitamins. That's America, today as the product of yesterday. Control of information in America today is one of the most sophisticated systems of influence ever devised. The simple ideas contained in this chapter are simply not available to the mass consciousness. The documentation is out there, but you really gotta dig.

100 years ago if a medical doctor saw a case of cancer he would call all his colleagues to come and have a look, telling them it was unlikely they would see another case, as cancer was so rare. People rarely died of heart attacks; in fact the term heart attack itself didn't even exist. There was no incidence at all of atherosclerosis. Diabetes was practically unheard of. What did they eat? Fruits, vegetables, meat, butter, and lard. But none of it was processed with drugs and chemicals.

Today one in three dies of cancer. One in two dies of heart disease. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. (Vital Statistics) Is that progress? If you are a food manufacturer it is, and especially if you are a drug manufacturer. In the 1980s the WHO ranked the US as #22 in the world in infant mortality. Male sperm count is less than 20% of what it was in 1929. (1981 University of Florida report, Natural vs. Synthetic) Infant mortality is up; birth defects are up. We spend $1.5 trillion per year for health care, most of which goes for administration and executive salaries. Who are the largest advertisers for TV and the printed media? Right: drug companies and food manu-facturers. Do they want to keep the ball rolling? You bet. Will they kill you to do it? You bet. Do they want people to take charge of their own health by natural inexpensive foods and supplements? Negative. A cure for cancer has been "right around the corner" since Nixon. People are starting to ask questions; they're less inclined to believe the slick ads coming every 10 minutes on TV and in Newsweek.

Perhaps Hippocrates did not envision doctors as detail men or drug reps. He most likely thought like Henry Bieler, MD:

"Nature, if given the opportunity is always the greatest healer. It is the physician's role to assist in this healing, to play a supporting role."

- Finding the Right Cure for You
REFERENCES

DeCava, Judith --- The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants 1996
Jensen, Bernard, DC --- Empty Harvest 1990
Frost, Mary --- Going Back to the Basics of Human Health 1997
Bieler, Henry MD --- Finding the Right Cure For You 1998
Lee, Royal --- "What Is a Vitamin?" Applied Trophology Aug 1956
Wiley, Harvey W., MD --- The History of a Crime Against the Pure Food Law
Robbins, John --- Reclaiming Our Health 1996
Nelson, Elmer, MD --- Washington Post 26 Oct 49
Somer, Elizabeth --- "Vitamin C: A Lesson in Keeping An Open Mind" The Nutrition Report
Lancet . 1842
Dana, Richard --- Two Years Before the Mast, p 444 ff. 1840.
Lind, James --- "A Treatise of the Scurvy in Three Parts. Containing an inquiry into the Nature,
Causes and Cure of that Disease, together with a Critical and Chronological View of what has been published on the subject."
A. Millar, London, 1753.
Woodall, A --- Caution with b-carotene supplements Lancet 347:967, 1996
Heinonen, O MD --- The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers" The Alpha Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group
NEJM 14 Apr 1994 330;15:1031
Barnett Sure, MD --- Journ Natr 1939
University of Florida report --- "Natural vs. Synthetic" 1981
Randolph, Theron MD --- Human Ecology and Susceptibility to the Chemical Environ. 7th ed. 1980
Price, Weston --- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration - Keats Publ. 1997
CDC -- National Vital Statistics Report - Vol. 47, no.19, June 1999.

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