THE FRENCH eat half as much bread today as they did 50 years ago, because the quality is dropping, according to a consumer survey report.
The consumer rights group Que Choisir said that the drop in quality was being partially driven by consumers themselves, who were increasingly demanding whiter, lightly-cooked, baguettes.
When questioned by the group, boulangers said that, responding to the preference of customers, they were cooking baguettes for 17 minutes instead of the typical 20-22 minutes.
Another major problem found by the investigation was that flour production had been concentrated in the hands of a four suppliers who controlled more than half the market in France.
The addition of additives to a cheaper, more-processed, type of flour, also leads to a whiter bread that is easier to preserve.
Customers wanting a baguette without additives need to look for labels such as the pain de tradition française which is a regulated name for bread that uses only flour, water, salt and yeast.
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