What Are Digestive Biscuits?

We all know what are digestive biscuits and we have all heard about them but in this article, we are going to explore in detail what are digestive biscuits, their origin and most importantly some fun facts about them. Let’s get started!

Digestive biscuits, as their name suggests, were originally believed to aid with digestion due to the inclusion of baking soda in their production. However, it was later found that the sodium carbonate loses its healing properties during the cooking process. Despite this revelation, the name “digestive” has persisted through the years.

While the sodium carbonate used in digestive biscuits may not assist with digestion, these biscuits are made from whole wheat, which contains a fair amount of fibre that can aid with digestion. This fibre content makes them a healthier option compared to other biscuits.

The Influence Of The Macronutrient Makeover On The Biscuit Industry

The biscuit industry, like many others, is following the macronutrient makeover trend, resulting in healthier and more nutritious products. This trend is aimed at improving the nutritional value of various foods, including biscuits, to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers. They were also influenced to create digestive biscuits.

The Country Of Origin

The digestive biscuit is a type of rotary moulded biscuit that originated in Britain. It is said to have been invented by Mr. Alexander Grant in 1892, making this year its 125th anniversary. The recipe has been kept a secret and has remained relatively unchanged throughout the years. Mr. Grant was working for McVitie’s, one of the world’s largest producers of digestive biscuits, at the time of its invention.

In 1925, the chocolate-covered digestive biscuit, initially named “Home wheat chocolate digestive,” was created. The term “home wheat” referred to the use of wheat grown in Britain, as opposed to imported wheat used by McVitie’s competitors. Although the name was eventually shortened, the chocolate-covered digestive biscuit remains a popular snack, particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Ways To Enjoy Digestive Biscuits

Digestive biscuits can be enjoyed in various ways, including:

  • Accompanying tea or coffee
  • Dunking into tea before eating
  • Topping with cheese
  • Spreading with butter as a
  • bread substitute
  • With peanut butter
  • Using as a base for desserts
  • like cheesecakes
  • Enjoying a glass of milk

Simple Digestive Biscuit Recipe

The digestive biscuit recipe is generally simple, with little variation from the original recipe. In the United States, where high-fructose sugar syrup is commonly used in food manufacturing, digestives are made with natural sugar. Here is a sample recipe:

Digestive biscuits reciepe


  • 150g of whole wheat flour
  • 50g of soft white flour
  • 30g of medium oatmeal
  • 20g of bran
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  •  50g of unsalted butter
  •  ½ tablespoon of salt
  • 100g of packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of milk


  1. Sift the whole wheat flour, soft white flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Add the oatmeal, bran, and sugar to the flour mixture, then combine well.
  3. Rub the butter finely into the flour mixture until it becomes crumbly. Make a hollow in the middle and add half of the milk, mixing until well combined. If the dough is still dry, add the remaining milk as needed.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a greased surface and shape it into a long ribbon. Wrap the ribbon in cling film and refrigerate for approximately 4 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Flatten the dough to approximately 1/3 inch (3mm) thickness, then use a cutter to shape the biscuits. Arrange the cutouts onto the baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned. Allow them to cool on a wire rack before storing them in an airtight tin.


The digestive biscuit dough can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to 2 months if wrapped tightly in cling film.

Variations On Digestive Biscuits

There are a few variations of digestive biscuits available, including:

  • Chocolate-flavored digestives
  • Regular-flavored digestives coated in mint chocolate, caramel, pure chocolate (dark, regular, or white), or orange-flavored chocolate.

Health Benefits Of Digestive Biscuits

health benefits of diggestive biscuits

Digestive biscuits offer a range of health benefits due to their whole grain content, including:

  • Heart and cardiovascular health due to the presence of whole grains
  • Suitable for low blood pressure sufferers due to the high sodium content
  • Relief from heartburn or abdominal pains
  • Diabetes management and weight control due to their high fibre content that keeps you full for longer
  • Boost in energy levels due to the sodium content
  • Assistance with constipation problems
  • Some pregnant women claim that these biscuits help with morning sickness.

Fun Facts About Digestive Biscuits

  • Digestive biscuits are prohibited in the United States due to the misconception that they aid in digestion. However, they can still be found in the “International” aisle of supermarkets.
  • In 2009 and 2010, McVitie made changes to their popular original recipe, replacing palm oil with sunflower oil that had reduced saturated fat. However, in response to consumer complaints, they reverted to their original recipe.
  • In 2012, Elliott Allen set a world record by breaking 18 digestive biscuits with one karate chop.


In conclusion, the question of “What are digestive biscuits” has been answered. Despite their name, they do not aid in digestion, but their whole grain content does offer health benefits. The biscuit industry has been influenced by the macronutrient makeover trend, resulting in healthier options for consumers. Digestive biscuits originated in Britain and remain popular today, particularly the chocolate-covered variety. There are many ways to enjoy them, and their simple recipe allows for variations and homemade versions as well.


Digestive biscuits are a type of biscuit that originated in Britain. They are made from whole wheat and were originally believed to aid with digestion, hence the name. However, it was later found that the sodium carbonate used in the biscuits loses its digestive properties during cooking.

While the sodium carbonate used in digestive biscuits does not assist with digestion, the whole wheat content of these biscuits contains fibre, which can aid with digestion. This makes them a healthier option compared to other biscuits.

Yes, there are different variations of digestive biscuits available. Some variations include chocolate-flavoured digestives, as well as regular digestives coated in mint chocolate, caramel, pure chocolate (dark, regular, or white), or orange-flavoured chocolate.

Digestive biscuits offer health benefits due to their whole-grain content. They can promote heart and cardiovascular health, be suitable for low blood pressure sufferers, provide relief from heartburn or abdominal pains, help with diabetes management and weight control, boost energy levels, assist with constipation problems