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Crustless loaf to lure kids

London, Aug. 9: Britain’s first “crustless bread”, a sliced loaf that stays white all the way through, was unveiled yesterday.

Hovis, the company which launched the bread, said its Invisible Crust was aimed at the one in three parents who have to trim sandwiches before their children will eat them.

The bread is made from regular ingredients, but is slowly cooked in a special tin and oven so that the outer layer of dough does not brown.

Paul Molyneux, the technical director of RHM, Hovis’s parent company, refused to reveal details about how the new loaf was produced but said the secret lay in the baking process.

“It’s to do with keeping the temperature at the surface of the loaf as low as possible so that you don’t get it to colour up and make crust,” he said.

“When you boil a potato, it is cooked all the way through and the outside does not brown. We have managed a similar process using our ovens.”

A typical loaf of commercial white bread is cooked at round 200 degrees Centigrade for 20 minutes. The centre reaches 95 degrees Centigrade ' the temperature needed to convert dough into bread ' but the higher temperature at the outside triggers a chemical browning process known as a maillard reaction.

“Bread is a good insulator and it is only at the outside that the temperatures get high enough to make a crust,” said Molyneux.

The new loaf may be white, but it is not completely crust-free. Close examination reveals faint, soft white crusts, particularly on one edge. But because the crusts have not been toasted, they have no distinctive taste.

A survey by Hovis found that 67 per cent of children do not like crusts. Up to 45 per cent of the bread in a slice is wasted if the crusts are removed.

Lisa McClean, of east London, is one of the millions of mothers who trims her children’s sandwiches.

“I don’t really know why I do it ' it may have come from my own mother,” she said. “If I don’t do it, then they’ll just eat the white bits of the sandwiches and waste a lot of the filling.”

Her daughter, Georgia, 12, and son Harry, eight, tried the new bread in sandwiches and toast. Georgia, who also dislikes fruit, cheese and vegetables, was impressed by the taste. “I can’t tell any difference from ordinary bread,” she said. “I think it’s a good idea because there’s no waste.”

Harry, who claimed he was less fussy than his sister, said: “It’s fine. I don’t really mind crusts, but this is OK.”

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