Unfolding the Events which Brought Bread Under the Scanner

Monday news brought with itself some heart-wrenching headlines. Bread came under the scanner. The most devoured breakfast item may suffer a similar fate like the most loved noodle brand which caused havoc a few months ago. The look on every mom’s face was same-shocked and in disbelief.

How safe is your bread-Equinox Labs

But how exactly this happened? Who brought this matter to light? What are the additives?

A complete story for the nation to know what lead to the event.

CSE (Centre for Science and Environment) took it upon itself to test the chemical additives Potassium Bromate/Iodate used in bread preparation. This organisation which works in public interest research, were determined to unveil the additive amount. The Pollution Monitoring Laboratory of CSE started off from the capital of the country. A total of 38 samples were collected from various bakeries, retail shops and fast food outlets. These samples comprised of white bread, whole wheat bread, multi-grain bread, sandwich bread, bun, pav, ready to eat pizza bread and burger bread. Using UV-visible spectrophotometer, the tests brought to light the dreaded news- Bread isn’t as healthy as you thought.

This wasn’t an overnight turn of events. The entire process began more than a year ago, with constant tests taking place. The reports were documented, compared and eventually made public after consistently finding harmful levels of carcinogens in bread.

The samples were also sent to a reputed third-party laboratory back in September 2015, which confirmed the danger. These samples were of same products but different batches, produced on different dates than those tested earlier by the PML. The third-party laboratory conducted tests using ion chromatograph with conductivity detector, a prescribed technique for testing bromate. Only one of the many top brands effectively cleared the tests.

Consultations and research revealed to them an even darker truth – these chemicals are widely used with the permission of the law. This aggravated the situation, bringing forth the food standards of the country as compared to the world.

How bad are the chemicals?

Food Additives_Oxidizing Agents-Equinox Labs

Potassium Iodate/Bromate are collectively used as dough conditioners. They are used for uniformity in bread quality and increase loaf volume. Countries like UK, New Zealand have long banned these two chemicals, but not India. We continue to use these in baking products. However, the amounts have gone unchecked and tests have revealed so.

Cancer is just the beginning. Slow death is also caused by renal failure, thyroid disorder, tumors and many more.

What Action has the Food Authority of the country taken?

The efforts of CSE bore fruits with the intervention of FSSAI, the governing authority of India’s Food Safety and Monitoring. The authority has now issued a recommendation of removing the suspected carcinogens from the list of approved Food Additives (Appendix A and B specifying the approved additives).

This has come in less than a day ago, which is sure to gain support in time. The momentum is building up against adulteration and carcinogenic food chemicals which are making news every other day.

The sad part is…

…such news continues to surface time and again. The callousness has caused us immense in achieving complete hygiene and safety, which unfortunately, is still a dream.

The good side is…

…people are more aware and effective actions are taken by FBOs and Food Authority to keep in check the quality of Food. Equinox Labs has many esteemed bread and bakery clients who have entrusted us their product quality and compliance.

Make sure your bread is tested and complies to all the set rules and regulations. Equinox Labs will help you get your product tested, along with the solutions deemed necessary.

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