You may now have to be very,very careful while buying your seemingly harmless bread. According to a new report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), cancer-causing chemicals Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate were found in most of the samples of commonly consumed varieties of Bread in Delhi.
Potassium Bromate – a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) – is banned in most countries , along with Potassium Iodate (which contributes to thyroid-related diseases)
Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) of CSE says that Indian bread manufacturers use Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate for treating flour while making bread. 38 commonly available branded varieties of packaged breads from popular fast food outlets from Delhi were tested by the organisation.
The results were shocking. Potassium Bromate in Bread was found to be present in a staggering 84% of the samples.
“We re-confirmed the presence of Potassium Bromate/Iodate in a few samples through an external third-party laboratory. We checked labels and talked to industry and scientists. Our study confirms the widespread use of Potassium Bromate/Iodate as well as presence of Bromate/Iodate residues in the final product,”
– Chandra Bhushan, deputy Director General, CSE and Head of the CSE lab
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified Potassium Bromate as possibly carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans – causing tumours of the kidney, thyroid and cancer of the abdominal lining in laboratory animals.Thus, the use of Potassium Bromate in Bread as a flour treatment agent was termed to be inappropriate.
Ideally, Bromate converts into Bromide which is harmless. However, this is something that does not happen in reality and is a cause of concern.
The reports also showed that breads and buns from major popular fast food chains , apart from regular packaged bread, were found to contain the chemicals in considerable amounts.