Purple Bread: A New Superfood?

Alli Studtmann

Article Summary

The article, “Purple bread: A new superfood?”, written by Jenni Marsh, introduces information and the nutritional value of purple bread and how it may be preferred over white bread. This article is found on www.cnn.com and was published March 18, 2016. Professor Zhou Weibiao of the National University of Singapore is a food scientist who experimented with and invented the vibrant dough. His main goal is to “‘see if we could change the formula of bread, without changing the smooth texture of white bread that people really love’” (Marsh).

White bread is found to be quickly digested and full of sugar. Zhou created a new bread that is “digested 20% slower than normal white bread” (Marsh), which results in the consumer utilizing the energy from the carbs for a longer period of time. He added anthocyanin from black rice to the bread, giving it the purple color and slower digestion time. The anthocyanins “help prevent cardiovascular and neurological disease and cancer, and play a role in controlling obesity and diabetes” (Marsh). It also has an abundant amount of antioxidants and natural compounds that make it continue to have the same texture as white bread.

Questions have been raised regarding purple bread and a lower calorie count. Zhou found that the nutritional value in both products is the same, but because of the slowed energy release, the calories in the colorful bread can be used for a longer time (Marsh). Shoppers might ask where they can purchase purple bread, but it is not available in stores or markets yet. A proposed idea presented to Zhou involved adding anthocyanins to chocolate. Marsh concluded her article with, “here’s hoping”, which adds some lightness to her article.

Article Critique

This article appears to be very reliable because of the source and the science behind it. CNN is a popular news source, and many people trust its information. Jenni Marsh, the author, has a strong background with many respected publications, and her work is known to be thorough and valid. Her writing style is easy to follow, clear, concise and well written. Her use of images of purple bread gives the reader an idea of what the dough actually looks like and sets it beside other purple foods that are healthy. In doing this, she is supporting her premise that purple bread is a superfood.

In researching Zhou Weibiao, many books, journals, and articles are discovered. Research confirms that he works for the National University of Singapore in the Food Science and Technology Program and received his Ph. D. from the University of Queensland, Australia. Having this title, he is well trusted and likely to have accurate information. Overall, this article is credible. In searching for supporting information on purple bread, similar ideas and facts are presented by multiple sources. Broadcasters other than CNN document information written about the benefits of purple bread and refer to Marsh’s article regarding the novel creation. The information is reliable based on Jenni Marsh’s well-respected credentials and Zhou Weibiao’s history of research and strong academic standing.

One thing about the article that is questionable is that it does not go into depth in defining a superfood. The premise assumes that everyone knows what a superfood is, and some people may have a misunderstanding of the word. It also uses other words that may not be understandable to people unfamiliar with medical terminology. Another issue about this article is that it jumps from one thought to another without explaining the previous thought. For example, she talks about how adding anthocyanins are beneficial to the digestion, then talks about antioxidants, and then jumps to describe the bread. The reader could get confused and not comprehend all that the article is trying to share.

Works Cited

Marsh, J. (2016, March 18). Purple bread: A new superfood? Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/17/health/purple-bread/index.html