The topic "black bread with vegetable carbon" is related to precise normative indicated by the Ministry of Health and to the claims that provide guidelines on its use and codes for labeling.
To avoid free interpretation, let's see together what is specifically indicated in the note issued to the Health Departments of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, in which they are listed clarifications in relation to production, naming and labeling of bakery products with the addition of charcoal and marketed as bread, focaccia or vegetable charcoal pizza.
"[...]is admissible the production of a "fine bakery product" named as such, which adds vegetable charcoal to the basic ingredients (water, yeast and flour), among others as a coloring additive and in the quantities allowed by the relevant European regulations (Reg. CE 1333/08 All. II Part E);
it is not permissible to name as "bread" the product referred to in point 1, nor refer to "bread" in the labeling, presentation and advertising of the same, both in the case of a prepackaged product and in the case of bulk products (Article 18, Law 580/67);
it is not permissible to add any information referring to the beneficial effects of charcoal to the labeling, presentation or advertising of the product referred to in point 1 for the human body, given the clear use of the same exclusively as a coloring additive. "
To understand us better, charcoal can only be used as a colorant with the wording E153 in baked goods but cannot be used as an ingredient in the production of bread since there is no consolidated tradition and in this sense it should be included among the "novel food" and therefore it would require special authorization.
In any case, on the market we find black bread with vegetable carbon and we must know that it does not comply with current regulations, if it shows the wording "bread" instead of "substitute for bread".
Read also Charcoal in baked goods >>
Properties of the Vegetable charcoal "Bread substitute"
We pay attention to boasted properties of "black bread with vegetable carbon", such as high digestibility, anti-swelling, antiemetic, etc. Those are the properties of charcoal but they do not possess "transitive properties" such that if the bread contains a fraction of coal dust then the loaf takes on its beneficial adsorbing effects !!!
Let's not fall into the trap of these exploitation: iVegetable charcoal bread has the same nutritional values and calories as white bread: in 100 grams of bread the contribution is 307 kcal.
Here is now a recipe for making homemade charcoal bread in which for 500 g of 00 flour 6 grams of vegetable carbon are indicated or the equivalent in crushed tablets.
This recipe does not fall within the above considerations because the quantity indicated is equal to that of an ingredient and not of a simple dye admitted by the Ministry of Health and therefore not marketable.
If in our home we want to transform the daily bread into a supplement-like, we are free to do so, but let's find out well about the contraindications of charcoal.
Contraindications of charcoal
Given that in commercial oven preparations the dose of charcoal is minimal and allowed only for coloring, it goes without saying that there are no contraindications to the consumption of "black bread".
If, on the other hand, we want to prepare it at home with quantities that exceed the recommended daily dose in the form of a supplement (2 grams per day in case of need), we must take into account some aspects related to the prolonged intake of charcoal:
> can provoke constipation;
> absorbs active ingredients, in case of taking medications;
> can absorb important nutrients;
> it can be harmful if not of good quality, since the charcoal is obtained from the combustion of wood.
Read also Charcoal, when to use it? >>