KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S. — International bread brands have warmed up to the idea of adding wheat germ. Massimo, an Italian-style brand backed by a Malaysian baking company, promotes a sandwich loaf with wheat germ for containing omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E. Hovis, based in the United Kingdom, promotes a wheat germ bread variety for a sweet nutty taste as well as nutrient content.

“Germ bread has been a popular item in Canada for many decades,” said Robert Ferguson, research and development project manager for Siemer Milling Co., Teutopolis, Illinois, U.S. “The origins I’m not sure of, but the touted benefits from bakers in Canada is that it’s tasty and nutritious.”

Mr. Ferguson said he believes there is a market for bread containing wheat germ in the United States.

“The trend moving people away from grains will/should be short-lived,” he said. “Selling the nutritional benefits of wheat germ and the high of amount of protein added should allow for folks to come back to bread.”

Wheat germ provides more sweetness and pleasant nutty flavors in final products, said Lucy Wang-Hill, research and development project manager for Siemer Milling Co. Longer shelf life is possible through the addition of HT stabilized germ.

“HT fine wheat germ has a small granulation size, which works well at a low substitution level, such as 10% to 20%,” she said. “Formulas might call for slightly more water after adding wheat germ. For some formulas, wheat germ might need to be added later during the dough mixing step to prevent delay of gluten development.”