On Tuesday morning Moama Bakery will start selling its newest, first of its kind, immune-boosting aloe bread.
The new loaf’s secret ingredient is aloe vera juice, harvested on farms in nearby Numurkah and Cobram.
Moama Bakery owner Dave Wegener said the aloe bread tasted “just like white bread” and had already won over the bakery’s fussiest customers — children.
“Everyone loves white bread. It is king in-store, it sells out all other breads 2 to 1,” Mr Wegener said.
“We’ll start with a limited amount in each of our three stores, but hopefully it sells out and we can start baking more of it. People are welcome to pre-order as well.”
Mr Wegener was convinced to give the aloe bread a shot by Torrumbarry’s colorful cookers Jodie-Anne and Mick Barlow, from the fledgling cooking show Champagne Food on a Beer Budget.
“It’s awesome that they’ve come to me with this idea,” Mr Wegener said.
“When they brought the bread to me, what stood out was the vitamin D content. Not a lot of foods have vitamin D in them and I know how important it is for the immune system.”
Vitamin D is a notoriously difficult vitamin to acquire, especially for those who are housebound, elderly, on a vegan diet, or with dark skin.
The Barlows became aloe vera believers after a series of health issues among their own circle of family and friends were solved or lessened by introducing aloe vera into their diets.
“A friend introduced it to me. She has a 10-year-old son with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and they wanted to put him on steroids but she decided to look for other, gentler, options first,” Mrs Barlow said.
The results were so positive the friend encouraged Mrs Barlow to pass the aloe vera trick onto her own mother, who went on to get her first perfect bill of health in years, according to Mrs Barlow.
“We are also interested to see if people who normally struggle to digest white bread can eat this without getting upset stomachs,” she said.
Mr Barlow said the aloe bread was a great example of local produce being utilised, with the juice coming from Aloe Vera of Australia, which started in Victoria 43 years ago and grows most of its aloe vera in the neighboring Moira Shire.
“We saw the juice was extracted using high temperatures which meant we could use it in cooking and not lose the health benefits,” Mr Barlow said.
Aloe Vera of Australia founder Jennifer McDougall said she was aware of the aloe bread being baked in Echuca-Moama and, unsurprisingly, fully endorsed the many health benefits of aloe vera.
Aloe vera sap is commonly used on burns, insect stings and its juice consumed to improve digestion.
The bread will be available in Moama Bakery stores across the twin-towns Tuesday morning and is expected to sell for $7 a loaf.
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