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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Angelic Bakehouse Goes GMO-Free

The Waukesha breadmaker keeps things natural

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Cybros the Sprouted Bakehouse was ahead of health-food trends when it launched in 1969. The Waukesha company offered whole-grain and gluten-free goods before there was widespread demand for such products, while specializing in breads made from unprocessed sprouted grains—whole grains that had been sprouted overnight in warm water, making them easier to digest and more nutrient-rich than typical grains.

But health-food standards change over time, so the company has adapted to keep up with natural goods consumers who are more aware than ever about what they put in their bodies. Since purchasing the company in 2009—later renaming it Angelic Bakehouse—owners Jenny and James Marino have committed themselves to keeping up with the latest health trends. As part of that push to continue offering some of the healthiest bread on the market, last month they announced that the company will now only use non-genetically modified ingredients.

“It’s something that our customers have been requesting for a while,” Jenny Marino says. “We always heard, ‘Oh, your product is so good, but I wish it was GMO-free.’ So it was hugely important for us to make this move, because we’ve always prided ourselves on offering the most natural product we could. We’ve never added any fats, any oils or any sugars, so for us to take it to the next level was a big deal.”

Purging genetically modified ingredients required some tweaks to Angelic Bakehouse’s bread recipe. The company eliminated all corn and rice, since very few strains of those grains are certifiably GMO-free, and replaced them with quinoa and amaranth. The flavor hasn’t changed much, Marino says, but there’s a textural difference. They’ve added oat fiber to the dough, creating a bread that’s softer and moister than most natural breads on the market.

Though genetically modified foods are generally believed to be safe, Marino says a growing segment of grocery shoppers are attempting to avoid them.

“This is a movement that’s just starting to gain momentum,” she says. “People are uneasy with the idea of taking something that started as a pure product being modified in a lab, changing the very structure of that food. They’re interested in knowing where their food is coming from, and how it’s been treated. I think it ultimately comes down to just wanting to eat pure. There’s no reason why any of us have to eat foods that are lab-sourced or chemically treated.”

Angelic Bakehouse bread is available at natural foods stores around the Midwest, and can be ordered at angelicbakehouse.com.

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