An essential component in the diet of Moroccans, bread has been the subject of controversy for several days, mainly related to its composition, in particular its pesticide content. But several problems surround the chain of production of this food.
While Morocco imports the vast majority of wheat consumed, part of it is produced locally, and in both cases, the supervision of the sector is almost non-existent according to the Moroccan Federation of Consumer Rights (FMDC) which alerts on the quality bread offered for sale.
Several problems are raised by the Federation, and these concern all stages of bread production until its distribution. As such, the FMDC indicates that wheat is one of the foods most exposed to pesticides “in all stages of its cultivation and processing”. This while the mandatory declaration of the substances of the chemical inputs used and their quantities, is provided for in the law, without being implemented.
Calling for “rigorous control”, the Federation indicates that the activity of bread production is carried out in total “anarchy”, in particular at the level of the mills, the points of sale and distribution of wheat and bread, where the control is almost non-existent.
In this sense, the Moroccan Federation of Consumer Rights recalls that farmers and agricultural producers are obliged to keep a register of pesticide use, as well as the owners of mills, bakeries and seed depots who must have a health accreditation.
The FMDC, which has been leading an awareness campaign since 2012 on pesticides used in wheat and seeds for the production of flour, does not despair and calls for rigorous control, both concerning pesticides, and the use of some ingredients in bread making, such as flour without fiber, the use of sugar (at least 3 grams of sugar found in each bread) and salt.
While the Moroccan consumes an average of 3.5 breads per day, the authorized quantity of salt must be framed by legal text and legal conditions must be laid down concerning the types of bread and their manufacture.
Faced with the rise in the prices of raw materials, several bread manufacturers, by their own admission, began to add substances to bread or to replace others, in particular concerning the addition of caster sugar instead of corn glucose. , or the use of flour without fiber.
But in normal situation, all manufacturers (mills, bakeries and retailers), should have a certification or authorization number issued by the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA), after control.
Consumers have also noted in recent years changes in bread, becoming smaller or lighter, and changes in texture, despite the presence of specific standards.