2 Jul 2019
The day before the elections of last April 28, the Spanish government made changes to the quality of bread in Spain through a Royal Decree that will come into effect on Monday July 1 (2019).
This should improve the quality of "pan común" and contain less salt. The VAT (IVA) has also been reduced from 10% to the lowest rate of 4%.
According to the most recent data, the Spaniards eat an average of 31.77 kilograms of bread per year, with that being higher among adults at 49.37 kilograms. Spanish households spend an average of 5% on the purchase of bread, which amounts to around 76 euros per person per year. Eating bread decreased by 2.2% in Spain in 2018 despite the fact that there is more than ever a more extensive range.
The most commonly eaten bread in Spain is frozen / fresh bread at 80.7% while industrial, drier but longer-lasting bread is 19.3% of annual consumption. The autonomous regions where the most bread is eaten are Galicia, Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha while the consumption of bread in the Comunidad de Madrid, Catalonia and Comunidad Valenciana is the lowest.
To be allowed to use the term "integral" or whole-grain bread, loaves of bread may only be made with 100% wheat flour (the ground whole grain). If this wheat flour percentage deviates, it may not be called "integral" and the percentage must be stated on the packaging.
There is a change regarding the definition of multigrain bread (multicereal). This must be made with three or more grains, each of the three must have a minimum amount of 10%. The mixture must also consist of at least 30% flour from the cereals.
With regard to a sourdough starter or sourdough (masa madre), this should only consist of flour or flour and water. The "masa madre" ensures that the dough rises through fermentation based on lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria and yeasts that are naturally present in it. Flour or flour, water and salt can be added to the sourdough starter to make it easy to digest sourdough bread.
Making "pan artesanal" must have a human operation as the main factor and therefore not machines. If that is the case, the term may no longer appear on the packaging.
The same also applies to bread from the wood oven (pan de leña) where if this is on the package the bread must also come from a wood oven.
The new standard has ensured that ordinary bread (pan común) has been expanded with new types of bread that can then enjoy a lower IVA. This has been reduced from 10% to the lowest rate of 4%.
The bread with the low VAT rate now also applies to bread made from cereals other than wheat, such as rye or spelled. Or bread made with bran or bread with a low salt content.