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By Teresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 2--YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Schwebel Baking Co. plant would be a low-carbohydrate dieter's nightmare.
A machine speedily slices fresh 20-ounce loaves of Roman Meal natural whole grain bread, doughy tubes move sedately through a living room-size oven to emerge as golden brown Schwebel's Jewish rye, conveyor belts pass overhead carrying hamburger buns on a cooling trip.
But it's the U.S. bread industry that's been mired in a nightmare, watching industrywide sales of white bread products dip 7 percent to 10 percent during the height of the low-carb diet fad. Instead of moving to whole grains in lieu of white brands, some customers took bread off the grocery list altogether.
Now the industry is fighting back.
It is mounting the first-ever joint effort by bakers, millers and their …