By: Terry Howell, HFI Suntava Purple Corn™ Ingredient Expert
Over the past few weeks, I asked some of the Healthy Food Ingredients staff who have a flair for baking to play with our new colorful, antioxidant-rich, Non-GMO Purple Corn Extract Powder which we produce using a gentle 100% water extraction technology and then drying it into a fine powder (think of it as a corn juice powder).
Specifically, I asked them to use it when making a homemade sourdough bread as I thought the visual once the bread was sliced would make people say “wow!” Plus, it’s my favorite type of bread.
COVID-19, self-isolating and eating at home more often due to restaurant closures during the pandemic made it easy for them to jump at the chance to play with the extract powder and experiment on their captive families.
I have not had the opportunity try a slice of purple sourdough bread yet, but I have seen the photos which far exceeded my expectations. The crust of the bread is a delicious-looking brown while the interior is a natural deep purple color which is shocking when your mind is telling you a sourdough bread is brown on the outside and white on the inside. Reports from the captive test subjects are that the added purple corn extract powder did nothing to alter the flavor that sourdough bread lovers have come to expect.
So, what’s in purple corn that would turn sourdough bread a superfood?
Purple corn contains water-soluble phytonutrients called anthocyanins. In nature, any plant that is purple or blue in color contains anthocyanins with blueberries being one of the most well-known purple colored superfoods. Here is a fun fact – research indicates that ounce for ounce purple corn provides two times more antioxidant protection than blueberries. In addition, purple corn anthocyanins go to work faster in the body than those found in blueberries.
Beyond their role as powerful antioxidants, purple corn anthocyanins also have superpowers to support cardiovascular health as well as brain and vision health. In addition, anthocyanins have been shown to support healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels with the normal range.
You can see why adding purple corn extract to our sourdough bread took it from being Plain Jane white bread to a colorful, pumped-up super-bread.
A case for more anthocyanins in our diet – a case for purple colored sourdough bread
Take a trip to your local grocery store and you will find plenty of fresh and frozen purple colored fruits and vegetables including blueberries, blackberries, plums, grapes, acai berry, purple carrots, purple potatoes, and purple cauliflower. You would think that with all these purple foods available, we would be getting plenty of these health-promoting anthocyanins. However, according to published research, that’s not the case.
In fact, published research1 indicates North Americans, on average, have a daily intake of 12.5mg of anthocyanins per day, whereas epidemiological research shows is that 35mg would be an ideal minimum daily intake to reduce our risk of many common age-related health issues.
I, for one, have made getting more anthocyanins in my daily diet a priority and can’t wait to add a couple of slices of purple corn extract-infused sourdough bread with my scrambled eggs this weekend.
Whether you’re a home baker or an industrial baker, our purple corn extract is a novel, natural antioxidant and powerful natural colorant that enables you to easily create more healthful, vibrant products; products that stand out in field crowded with muted white and brown flours, delivering minimal value-added health benefits.
Make your own sourdough bread with Suntava Purple Corn Extract Powder using this recipe!