The role of flour in the diet

Proportion of average adult daily intake of various nutrients provided by flour (original source: UK national diet and nutrition survey)

The government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) provides a good estimate of the amount of bread consumed; and the contribution that it makes to the diet.

Because flour is used in so many products, it is more difficult to estimate the contribution it makes. However the table below provides an indication based on production figures; and applies figures for general wastage in food both in the home and during manufacturing.

It can been seen that flour is a major source of dietary energy, fibre and micronutrient intake. Its key role in the diet is often underestimated

Contribution to the diet Content per 100g
(source: McCance and Widdowson, Composition of Foods, 7th Ed)
All wheat flour Wholemeal flour White bread flour White plain flour Brown flour
Energy 21% 327kcal 353kcal 352kcal 339kcal
Protein 21% 11.6g 11.3g 9.1g 12.2g
Fat 6% 2.0g 1.2g 1.4g 2.0g
Fibre (AOAC) 37% 10.1g 3.3g 4.0g 7.7g
Calcium 35% 32mg 134mg 96mg 28mg
Iron 31% 2.5mg 1.9mg 1.9mg 2.4mg
Zinc 21% 1.9mg 0.8mg 0.7mg 2.2mg
Magnesium 23% 83mg 26mg 23mg 72mg
Copper 27% 0.37mg 0.15mg 0.15mg 0.32mg
Potassium 12% 358mg 166mg 175mg 295mg
Manganese 49% 2.0mg 0.7mg 0.7mg 2.3mg
Thiamin 31% 0.36mg 0.30mg 0.28mg 0.39mg
Riboflavin 8% 0.10mg 0.03mg 0.05mg 0.10mg
Pyridoxine 8% 0.50mg 0.15mg 0.18mg 0.41mg
Folate 21% 27mcg 16mcg 16mcg 44mcg