We compared the incredibly popular Organ and White Wings gluten free flours to establish which one was the most nutritious. We checked for protein, food additives and carbohydrate. And just for fun, we compared the Bethel Farm Mill Faba and Chickpea gluten free flour for a comparison.
White Wings has been an iconic Australian brand for generations. Their gluten free flour lists the ingredients as Maize and Tapioca Starch and Rice Flour. In addition ….it lists food additive 464.
What is Food additive 464?
In a word, “Hydroxpropyl Methyl Cellulose”.
This so-called food additive or chemical is also included in detergents, cleaners, paints, and adhesives.
There is a growing body of concerned people who want to minimise food additives and simply consume food that is as pure and unadulterated as possible. For this reason, alone, the White Wings mix may be viewed by them with a degree of caution.
Does HydroxPropyl Methyl Cellulose sound like something that you should eat? No.
Now let’s have a look at the Orgran gluten free flour. According to the Woolworths website, The Organ Gluten Free Flour contains Maize Starch, Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Rice Bran, Vegetable gum and Guar gum. This means that the ingredients of both products are identical apart from three main distinctive features.
- The Organ product uses rice bran to provide a higher level of fibre
- The Organ product uses two kinds of gum to enable a gluten like attributes of lightness and bounce to the flour, rather than using food additive 464
- The White Wings use food additive 464, instead of guar and vegetable gum.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, your greatest problem is obtaining good quality protein. So protein is a vital issue.
So, how do the four flours compare in protein levels?
The overall protein levels for the White Wings product is 2gms. The Orgran product fared a little better with 3.1 g of protein per 100g serve.
“The Faba bean flour and chick pea flour are in a different league altogether protein- wise”
The Faba bean flour has a whopping 28-33 g per 100g and the Bethel Farm Chickpea flour has 25g per 100g. That means these flours contain up to fifteen times more protein than either the White Wings or the Orgran brands.
So how do the flours compare in carbohydrate levels?
Carbohydrates are the pathway to obesity if over consumed. Of course, we need to eat carbohydrates as they are an essential part of our overall diet, but too many carbohydrates are converted into fat resources and become the quickest way to increase weight.
The real culprits for weight gain are refined carbohydrates
Two of the flours used in both Orgran and White Wings are refined flours…they are the starch flours.
The nutritional content of both the White Wings and Orgran flours contains Tapioca starch, which is a standout loser in nutrition. It has no protein, it has virtually no vitamin content at all and is almost completely carbohydrate. Both Tapioca and Maize starch will send your blood sugar soaring very quickly.
Both Tapioca and Maize starch also have virtually no fibre ( either soluble or insoluble), which is so important for gut health.
The Faba bean flour and the Chickpea flour, on the other hand, are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in GI. In short the perfect gluten free ingredient. A clear winner in all areas
“Faba Bean flour and Chickpea flours are clear nutritional winners “
If you are wanting to buy the Orgran or the White Wings, we would suggest that the Orgran flour is slightly better of the two.
The above analysis explodes the myth that eating gluten free is automatically a road to health. The White Wings and Orgran flours are seriously deficient in protein and have really high levels of carbohydrate. Neither are an example of a healthy gluten free flour.