: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permitted additives while it examines evidence against its use.
This follows the latest study released by the Centre for Science and Environment, which found cancer-causing chemicals in nearly 84 per cent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads, including pav and buns.
The chemicals are listed as “hazardous” to health. FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said: “A scientific panel had recommended removal of potassium bromate from the list of additives. So, we have decided to take it out.”
Potassium bromate typically increases dough strength, leads to higher rising and uniform finish to baked products, while potassium iodate is a flour treatment agent.
In its report, CSE has claimed that while one of the chemicals is a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans), the other could trigger thyroid disorders but India has not banned their use.
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 at 50 ppm.