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Frequently Asked Questions


  • 1. Do you use artificial preservatives in your bread?

At Hovis, we are proud to be the only major bread brand* to be free of artificial preservatives and we work hard at ensuring that our natural preservatives help us keep our bread fresh for as long as possible.

*based on sales, excluding retailers’ brand, versus the two other leading bread brands.

  • 2. What is a wheatgerm bread?

Here at Hovis we have been making Wheatgerm bread since 1886. It has a distinctive, nutty taste which comes from the wheatgerm. Wheatgerm is the heart of the wheat and is packed with nutrients including vitamins E1, B1 & B6 which help the plant grow. Wheatgerm Bread is made up using a combination of white flour & wheatgerm, giving the loaf a nice golden brown colour.

  • 3. What Hovis loaves are suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

All our breads at Hovis are suitable for both. However, some of our other products may contain animal products such as milk, butter and or eggs, for example Hovis Rolls, Crumpets, Pancakes, Muffins and Teacakes. We suggest that you check the packaging on purchasing.

  • 4. Allergens - What Hovis products are egg-free, nut-free and milk-free?

It is our policy never to use Nuts; therefore all our products are nut free.

With regards to Milk & Egg the majority of our products are free from these ingredients. However we do have some products that do contain them. We suggest that you check the packaging on purchasing.

  • 5. Why do we use caramelised sugar in our ingredient lists?

Here at Hovis we use a small amount of caramelised sugar in our wholemeal products to give the products a more rounded & sweeter taste for your enjoyment.

  • 6. Please can you let me know which, if any, of your breads contain hydrogenated fats.

None of our Hovis breads contain hydrogenated fats.

  • 7. Does Hovis bread contain L-cysteine (E920)?

At Hovis we do not use L-cysteine (E920) in any of our bread products.

  • 8. Hovis, can you confirm the source of Emulsifiers: E471, E472e?

Hovis use emulsifiers that originate from vegetable sources.

  • 9. Why is there salt in bread?

Salt has 3 major functions in bread:
1. It helps in the gluten (protein) network formation. This means that our dough’s are more stable, less sticky & easier to handle on our plants.
2. It limits the yeast activity, by inhibiting yeast gassing to ensure that our loaves have a consistent shape & height.
3. It helps to enhance the flavour, without it bread can taste very unpleasant.

As a company we have been working on reducing our salt levels in line with the targets set by the Government. We are pleased to announce that our breads meet these targets.

  • 10. Why is there soya in bread?

Soya has been used as a normal ingredient in plant produced bread for over fifty years and is permitted under the Bread and Flour Regulations.

We add it as soya flour, which is milled or ground down soya beans, no other processing has occurred to it, so it is perfectly natural.

It has been recognised that soya flour addition in breads improves the rheological characteristics of the dough, which include improved handling and machineability of the dough, and better volume and crumb softness of the bread.

  • 11. What is the flour treatment agent used in Hovis?

Ascorbic acid (E300 otherwise know as Vitamin C) is the most commonly used flour treatment agent used in breadmaking. It is used to strengthen the dough and has a beneficial effect on the volume, crumb structure and softness of the bread.

  • 12. What vegetable oil is used in Hovis Wholemeal?

The vegetable oils used in Hovis products are Rapeseed & Palm.

  • 13. Are any of our Hovis Bread Range low in GI?

Here at Hovis we don't actually measure the GI in our bread so we are unable comment.

  • 14. What is Fermented Wheat Flour?

Fermented Wheat Flour is a wheat flour that has been fermented to give a distinctive taste. At Hovis we add this to improve the flavour of our breads.


British Wheat


  • 15. Why isn’t Hovis made from 100% British wheat anymore?

As a result of the worst UK harvest in over 35 years*, it is not currently possible to get sufficient supplies of the right quality wheat to meet all our needs. To ensure that we continue to make quality Hovis bread that tastes as good as it has always been, we have no choice but to supplement our supplies of British wheat from further afield.

*Source: Home Grown Cereals Authority Crop Report. The Worst Hectolitre weight on record is back to 1977.

  • 16. What does this mean to your commitment to British farmers?

We remain committed to British wheat and British farmers. Hovis pioneered being "made of 100% British Wheat" and we have already committed to British wheat farmers to secure as much high quality British wheat that will be available in 2013.

  • 17. Where are you sourcing your wheat from, if not from British farmers?

We will continue to use as much high quality British wheat as is available and supplement this year’s weather impacted harvest with imported wheat from Germany and Canada as a necessary step to ensure quality bread production.

  • 18. Is Hovis Farmers Loaf still made from 100% British wheat?

Yes, we will continue to conserve and utilise our available stocks of British wheat to ensure our Hovis British Famers loaf remains baked with flour from 100% British wheat.

  • 19. How else is Hovis committed to supporting British farmers?

Wherever possible, we prefer to source ingredients, products and services from UK producers and suppliers. In fact, we spend over £1.3 billion annually with around 4,000 suppliers of which 82% is with UK producers and suppliers, equivalent to over £1.0 billion annually.

Do you have a product query or complaint?

If we don’t answer your question or concern in the above frequently asked questions, then please contact our friendly Hovis Customer Careline team to help us resolve a product query or issue that you might have.

Our bakers work tirelessly around the clock and are always looking to improve our products and services so we’d love to hear. We take your comments seriously and would love to help:

Hovis Customer Careline Team
Please call use on 0800 022 3394
Or, drop us a line on our website here. Our phone lines are open Mondays to Fridays 9am to 5pm, excluding public holidays and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.