New Delhi: The findings of this CSE study are literally alarming as most of us consume bread almost daily.
A latest study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found residues of potassium bromate and/or iodate in many types of bread.
Noteworthy, the additives - Potassium bromate (KBrO3) and potassium iodate (KIO3) - considering that it can cause cancer, have been banned by many countries for their potentially adverse health effects.
In the CSE study results, products of 7 popular fast food Delhi outlets selling pizzas and burgers tested positive for chemicals.
The study shows that 84 per cent of bread and bakery samples collected from Delhi contain residues of potassium bromate, potassium iodate or both.
Potassium bromate (KBrO3) and potassium iodate (KIO3) are chemical food additives which, according to Indian food regulations, can be used by bread makers and bakeries as flour treatment agents. Potassium bromate helps achieve high rising and a uniform finish.
But the safety of these additives is under a cloud.
Health impacts of these two chemicals
In an evaluation in 1986, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), associated with the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that there was sufficient evidence to show the carcinogenicity of potassium bromate.
In 1999, IARC acknowledged that exposure to potassium bromate could occur due to its use as a dough conditioner and classified it as Class 2B which means “possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans”.
What does CSE recommend now?
The FSSAI should prohibit the use of potassium bromate in making bread and bakery products with immediate effect.
The use of potassium iodate as a flour treatment agent in bread and other bakery products should not be allowed by the FSSAI.