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Omega 3 Bread

Edmonton’s Bon Ton Bakery owner Eugene Edelmann grew rather accustomed to having his wholegrain breads analyzed by the University of Alberta’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science. In the 1980s, one variety of his bread was shown to carry 19.1 percent protein content at a time when the industry standard was eight to nine percent.

While Edelmann is credited with introducing the bagel to Edmonton in 1956, it is his Omega-3 bread that was considered culinary cutting edge for 1989. Designed to afford a degree of dietary heart healthiness to diners, the Edelmann loaf used grain sources such as wheat germ, cornflour and cornmeal for its fatty acid content.

Its ingredients included crushed and cracked wheat, wheat germ, flax, oatmeal, soya, cornmeal, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Low in salt and sugar—unrefined blackstrap molasses provided its sweetness and something for the yeast to feed off—the prototype of this new bread was not an instant hit in the taste department. Edelmann’s trick was to add grated fresh lemon peel to brighten the flavour and aroma, especially when it was toasted.

At the time, few small bakeries in the area were developing heart-healthy products from scratch, and Edelmann went further by having his breads tested at the University of Alberta. The Omega-3 bread went on the market in 1989, priced at $1.75 for a 16-ounce loaf.

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