Until 2008 legislation required all bread sold in the UK to weigh 400g or multiples thereof.
We now have different sizes of loaf offering consumers greater choice and convenience. However many loaves are still sold in 800g (large) or 400g (small) weights.
Breads and rolls weighing less than 300g can currently be sold by number or weight.
UK Bread and Flour Regulations 1998
The Bread and Flour Regulations require that flour should contain not less than 0.24 mg. thiamin (vitamin B1), 1.60mg nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) and 1.65mg of iron per 100g of flour. These amounts are found naturally in wholemeal flour. White and brown flours must be fortified to restore their nutritional value to the required level.
In addition calcium carbonate, at a level of not less than 235mg and not more than 390mg per 100g of flour, is added to all flours except wholemeal and certain self-raising varieties.
This ensures the nutritional value of all bread, whether it is white, brown or wholemeal.
The UK’s departure from the EU initiated Defra and Devolved Administrations to review the UK BFR and NI BFR resulting in a consultation. Launched September 2022, the consultation proposed to include 250 micrograms folic acid per 100g of non-wholemeal wheat flour. Other amendments aim to clarify the scope of the regulations, consider interactions with wider food legislation, modify the enforcement regime, and revise some exemptions from statutory flour fortification.
It is understood Defra plan to publish its summary of responses and government response mid-late 2023, and to lay the Statutory Instrument to amend the BFR in early 2024, to then be followed by the proposed 24 month transition period.
To find out more about these UK regulations please download a copy of the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998: bread-and-flour-regulations