I heard several times that so called "whole" products (flour and cane sugar) are actually often (not always) built from refined ones "adding back" refined versions of what was taken out in the first place (e.g.: adding bran to white flour).

Purported reason for the above, apparently useless, procedure is some kind of legislative restriction for food health prevents using "really unrefined" products.

Is this a Urban Legend (i.e.: a hoax)?

Is there "something" true about this?

I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be a "half truth", meaning both practices are used, to some extent; in this case I would like to know what is the (approximate) proportion and, more importantly, if there's some tell-tale indication on label that can help discriminating (I'm in Europe, Italy).

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    I don't know if this is true, but from an engineering perspective I understand why it could be. Imagine you have a wheat wet-milling operation. Wet milling is able to separate out all the different parts of the wheat berry. It would be much simpler to then recombine then in different ways to make all the different grades of flour than to have a completely process for each product. – Kevin Nowaczyk Sep 3 '17 at 13:31
  • @KevinNowaczyk: I understand that and thus I am very unsure; I would not be surprised to find out this is an "half truth", meaning it may be true in certain places/times, but fales in other instances. I would like to understand to which extent this is true and, more importantly, if there's some way to discriminate looking at the label (in Europe, specifically Italy). I'll update the question. – ZioByte Sep 3 '17 at 13:50
  • Hi ZioByte, asking this about anything that may have the label of "whole" is way too broad and would be closed, the same as all possible markets. So I edited slightly your language so people would answer only about the two products you mention, flour and sugar. It would help if the comments also don't spread over too many other products, else it would look like the question has to be closed after all. – rumtscho Sep 3 '17 at 14:13
  • @KevinNowaczyk if you have a partial answer, please post it as an answer, not as a comment – rumtscho Sep 3 '17 at 14:14
  • @KevinNowaczyk wet wheat milling? Never heard of it. And certainly not the process my local mill uses. – Stephie Sep 3 '17 at 19:50

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