Robert Kovacs, owner of Orlando’s Bakery in Lodi, has been developing his low-carb, low-glycemic bread for about six years. The bread sits at a 39 on the glycemic scale (on par with that of an apple) and was created with diabetics in mind (which his father and grandmother had). Kovacs claims his creation is a game changer in the world of low-carb breads – something that will allow diabetics to reintroduce the normally carb-heavy food back into their diet.
He says the bread has a small but dedicated following. He doesn’t yet sell 1,000 loaves a week, but those in the know come back, he says, even when the product is sold out — once, twice, three times — to get their hands on a loaf.
Kovacs started developing his bread in 2012 when he heard about a diabetic-friendly flour being developed in Europe. He bought the patent, and in 2016 began producing it large-scale. He also has been working with Ingredion, a starch manufacturer, which makes a high amylose resistant corn starch perfect for his purposes. The advanced flour and corn starch are two of the mechanisms he uses to make sure the bread won’t cause a spike in blood sugar.
“One young man come to me — a Type 1 diabetic — and say he hasn’t had bread for 12, 13 years. He tried (mine), and he came back 90 minutes later saying the pump didn’t pump any insulin.”
Resistant starches typically fall into one of four categories: RS1 through RS4. To be considered RS1 or RS2 starches, no chemical modification can take place – only physical (grinding, pounding, etc.). Kovacs uses only RS2 starches in his bread, so they haven’t been chemically modified.
But Kovacs needed to turn healthy into tasty – a task he didn’t take lightly. According to Kovacs, diets that emphasize losing weight by cutting carbs, like the Atkins Diet, fail because carb substitutes frankly don’t taste good. He knows the flavor is good because most of his taste tests were done by the harshest critics of all – kids.
“We wanted to get an unfiltered, honest opinion about the product,” he says. “Actually, juvenile diabetes is exploding in this country. I think offering tasty alternatives for children is perhaps even more important than for adults.”
So why has no one else tried the methods he has to achieve healthy, delicious bread? “In the bakery business, innovation happens on a very small mom and pop level – the Orlando’s level,” Kovacs asserts. Big box manufacturers are looking for sure bets, he says, and aren’t willing to sink a million dollars into a project like this.
“I’m from a finance background,” he says. “That’s very far removed from even the real economy or society. I wanted to have that positive connection to people, and I thought this was a very forward thinking, great product.”
Orlando’s Bakery Web site is at OrlandosBakeryAndDeli.com/.