Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why I said NO to Plain Flour / Maida / The ALL PURPOSE FLOUR ?

By now I have shared a lot of recipes without plain flour especially for baking....
And I had already mentioned about my aversion for plain flour in one of my previous posts
but not elaborated on it.....
I felt it is a personal choice and it up-to you, if you want to use it or not...

But last day I got a mail forward about Maida which made me think over and I thought it is my duty to share with you all regarding it....
After all that should be the main purpose of a Blog......Right ?

The article that I recieved was in my mother tongue Malayalam and quite a lengthy one...
I am translating here just the highlights from it for you....

So if you are ready to read and make a change in your life plz go ahead...

Yes , it is a lengthy post for today...So take my warning before you proceed...

Before starting, let me thank the friend who forwarded me the article...

The article starts with a bit of history on how our eating habits started around the world and it mentions about rice and wheat as the main grains that were eaten by man. And it was a time when there was no proceeded food and a place full of healthy human beings. As the food culture around the world had its changes ,  new food habits developed and along with it came the deadly invention called Maida....

  • What is Maida / All Purpose Flour / Plain Flour ??
Maida is simply the left over waste from wheat flour after all its nutrients [ germ and bran ] are extracted. It is then bleached with Benzoyl peroxide and further softened using Alloxan. And we are provided with a more appealing and softer flour which brings a very good texture for the variety of food prepared with it.......Except the only fact that it is not providing you or your growing children with any of the nutirents which food intake is supposed to provide. 

Read on more here.

  • What is Alloxan ?
It is a chemical used in Biochemistry laboraties to introduce Diabetes for animals like guinea pigs and rats to test the effectiveness of insulin on them. Here I found an interesting article which details the ill-effects of alloxan on your body..So if it can introduce diabetes to these animals it can surely make you diabetic one day...Think over before you indulge in foods prepared from white flour like noodles , white bread , pasta , paratta , cakes, cookies etc.

  • Bakery Items and the usage of Maida
Can you find any bakery / store bought item where Maida is not used ? Unless specified ,  they all use Maida for almost every item prepared, as it is the cheapest flour available and at the same time make the bakery / store bought food more attractive and appetizing.

Along with maida there will be other things like Artificial colors, Mineral oils, Taste Makers, Preservatives , Sugar, Saccarine , Ajinomotto etc which makes an even more dangerous combination.

The article in detail explains the side effets of each of these which I am not repeating here as I am limiting to Maida for the time being. 

  • Will Maida be digested in human body ?
Fibre content of food is what helps in digestion which is completely lost in maida with the removal of bran and germ of wheat. Digestion without fibre makes our digestive system weak and sluggish and it can even damage our digestive tract.  Moreover you may be knowing the usage of Maida as a glue for many purposes. [Here is a link on how to make it.] It can easily stick to your digestive tract and further create a list of problems which still need to be comprehended. 
  • So, What to give our children instead ?
The answer is as simple as that...Try to make your kids introduced to home made food  including home made snacks and make them aware about the ill effects of store bought food. And for that all you need is some time to dedicate for cooking...That is the only way...With home made goodies, you know what goes in there and it is always under your control....Once kids get addicted to the bakery / store bought foods it is really difficult to get rid of the habit...So start as easly as possible for their own sake....With this note the article ends leaving me to think about it.

For all those who want to read a copy of the original article in Malayalam plz do inform me, I am very happy to forward you the same.

Here are some of my recipes where in I have completely replaced the good for nothing PLAIN flour with  nutirent rich alternatives...
And here are some recipes where I have partially replaced it....

Hope the article will make you think and make a change at your home too, for the sake of our Next generation....

Do stay tuned in for some intersting recipes in which I have tried out this replacement and you will start believing that health and taste can indeed go together.


  1. Good job and very informative post. I too avoid using maida and sugar as much as possible.

  2. I am also a strong anti-Maida person, but I am yet to completely eliminate Maida from my pantry. I am sure I will some day ban Maida from my pantry, until such time I probably ill use Maida minimally !

  3. That's a very informative one. I too try to use maida to the minimal.

  4. Very informative post, thanks for sharing the did a gr8 job explaining it...I also use APF in minimal

  5. Its very true and scary.. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Very informative post, thanks for sharing..

  7. I feel guilty whenever I use APF but I am yet to eliminate fully . The post is really informative and thanks for sharing.

  8. wow i had no idea about this..thanks for the eye opener

  9. I too scare about this APF a lot but still use it sometimes.

  10. Nice informative post.Even I use wheat flour instead of APF for baking
    South Indian Recipes

  11. Brilliantly informative information here. A lot of us already were aware of the bleached white flour situation, but it is so easy to be apathetic.
    Not just flour either, many other foodstuffs. The key thing to remember is that these companies do what they do to keep the product stable until sold, not for the consumers benefit. There are hundreds of chemicals OK'd by the government for food processors to utilize. It's no wonder we have rampant obesity and pre-mature deaths. Try to get 25 grams of fibre with the standard diet.

    Oh don't get me started, I could go on and on.

  12. That's such a informative post..I too try to avoid maida as much as possible...loved your wheat flour jelebis..glad to follow you

  13. Very nice article Deepthi! I am going to share this. I was aware of the ill effects of Maida or any 'white' or refined consumable from my dietician and reading from articles, but loved ur article as it is more detail & I had never known abt the chemicals used to make it so fine..thanks a ton! Also, thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. Do try the Mlore bun - but by partially replacing Maida :)

  14. I am not defending Maida! But why so much of fuss on Maida and Porotta?? Nowadays even vegetables, fruits are contaminated with pesticides and are bigger killer than maida. Oil is bad, sugar is bad, meat is bad and the list goes on and on....So if you go deep into each any every consumable items, all have some ill effects and finally you will end up eating nothing!! excess of anything is, obviously dangerous. Campaigning should be done to prevent consumption of alcohol,drugs etc., which are most destructive to human health than anything else. Kerala's addiction to Alcohol is apparent from the serpentine queues in front of Beverages outlets throughout the year!! Porottas are kerala's pride, especially to the poor man and we have been relishing this for ages. Suddenly its becoming a taboo for very minor attributable reasons. I doubt the northern lobby together with the international fast food brands wish to kill this largely popular and cheap bread to monopolize kerala with their own products. Let us beware!!!!

  15. that s a good article with nice citations.
    I myself cook and started baking. Want to experiment more with alternatives to maida/all purpose floor.

    Will update you if I find and improvise something

  16. I truly agree with you. I myself substitute whole heat flour n oats in my cooking wherever possible

  17. Thanks for caring enough to share. I agree 100%. Personally I never eat anything made from maida, except a slice of pizza now and then. I find that hard to resist :)


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