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, 6th Ed)
All wheat flour Wholemeal flour White bread flour White plain flour Brown flour
Energy 21% 310kcal 341kcal 341kcal 324kcal
Protein 21% 12.7g 11.5g 9.4g 12.6g
Fat 6% 2.2g 1.4g 1.3g 2.0g
Fibre (non-starch polysaccahrides) 37% 9.0g 3.1g 3.1g 6.4g
Calcium 35% 38mg 140mg 140mg 130mg
Iron 31% 3.9mg 2.1mg 2.0mg 3.2mg
Zinc 21% 2.9mg 0.9mg 0.6mg 1.9mg
Magnesium 23% 120mg 31mg 20mg 80mg
Copper 27% 0.45mg 0.18mg 0.15mg 0.32mg
Potassium 12% 320mg 120mg 110mg 230mg
Manganese 49% 3.1mg 0.7mg 0.6mg 1.9mg
Thiamin 31% 0.47mg 0.32mg 0.3mg 0.39mg
Riboflavin 8% 0.09mg 0.03mg 0.03mg 0.07mg
Pyroxidine 8%
Folate 21% 57mcg 31mcg 22mcg 51mcg