Govt bans cancer causing bread additive

SRINAGAR: The state government on Tuesday banned the use of Potassium Bromate in breads, days after a study found the chemical, which can cause cancer, was present in 84 per cent of the 38 commonly available brands of packaged breads.
Srinagar Food Safety assistant commissioner Hilal Ahmad Mir told Kashmir Reader that he met local bread manufacturers and directed them to stop using the chemical and adopt good trading practices.
“They said they have not been using the chemical and neither will they do in future,” Mir said.
Also, the use of Potassium Iodate has been restricted to a maximum of 20 parts per million, a statement issued by the Drug and Food Control Organisation said.
Although many countries have banned its use, Potassium Bromate is used as a “flour improver”. It acts to strengthen the dough, leads to higher rising and uniform finish to baked products. Potassium Iodate is used as a flour treatment agent.
The study carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment said Potassium Bromate is a category 2B carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans), while Potassium Iodate could trigger thyroid disorders.
According to Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, CEO of FSSAI, the chemicals are listed as “hazardous” to health.
“A scientific panel had recommended removal of Potassium Bromate from the list of additives. So, we have decided to take it out,” Pawan had said.
Quoting Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Additives Regulations), 2011, CSE said the maximum level of use of Potassium Bromate and/or Iodate in bread was set earlier at 50 ppm.