Are Bread Crusts More Nutritious?

Bread crusts cut and piled into a bowl next to a bread knife
To eat the crust or not? That is the question.

7th Son Studio / Shutterstock

At some point, most parents have to decide how to handle the bread crust issue.

One of my daughters rarely seems to mind eating it, while another always leaves it behind. I’ve always been more concerned with food waste than nutritional loss because I assumed it was a myth that there are more minerals and vitamins in the crust.

Turns out there may not be more vitamins in the crust, but there could be health benefits from eating your bread crust! A study published in the American Chemical Society followed research from Germany on the topic.

In a study conducted at the German Research Center of Food Chemistry in Garching, Germany, Thomas Hofmann, Ph.D, the lead researcher of found that when the antioxidant content and activity of bread crust, bread crumbs, and bread flour were analyzed, bread crust came out on top.

What they discovered was that the process of baking bread creates an antioxidant, pronyl-lysine, which is significantly higher in the crust. This antioxidant has been shown in other studies to play a role in cancer prevention. Is it possible that former studies showing possible cancer-fighting properties of bread wrongly linked that advantage to fiber?

The research team found that this antioxidant formed in both yeast based, and non-yeast based breads, and that it was higher in smaller loaves of bread because there is more surface area exposed to the baking process. Darker breads such as rye and whole wheat generally contain higher antioxidant content, but over browning reduces the antioxidant content.

So mom, you may have been right! Eating my bread crust just may have been good for me after all.