I noticed that a label on some wheat flour has benzoyl peroxide as an ingredient. Why is benzoyl peroxide a component of wheat flour?
Benzoyl peroxide is one of several oxidizing agents (sometimes called a bleaching agent), used to “mature” a flour to improve color, dough development, loaf volume and crumb structure. There is quite an art and science of oxidizing flour for bread making. Before the use of oxidizing agents, flour had to be aged for several months to allow atmospheric oxygen to react with the flour before it would make great breads.
Some people think that adding oxidants to flour
changes the taste and quality of the flour.
Source: Baking Science and
Technology, 3d edition. 1988. pg. 256-269.
Douglas L. Holt, Ph.D., Chair, Food
Science and Extension Specialist, University of
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009