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India bans use of carcinogenic food additive potasium bromate in bread

The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the use of potassium bromate as a food additive after a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study linked its presence in bread with cancer.

The government issued the ban after the regulator’s recommendations to the Health Ministry based on the CSE study, which had found 84 percent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads had tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate. These two food additives are banned in many countries and listed as “hazardous” and unfit for consumption by the public due to their carcinogenic nature.

According to CSE, while potassium iodate is a flour-treatment agent, potassium bromate typically increases the doughs’ firmness and fluffiness and provides a uniform finish to baked products.

The All India Bread Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 organised bread manufacturers, had asked FSSAI to verify the findings of the CSE report.

After the CSE study, a bread manufacturers’ body had said they would stop using potassium bromate and iodate as additives, according to a Times of India report.


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