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Potassium bromate in bread

This refers to your news-report “Your burger, pizza may contain cancer-causing chemicals” (May 23). It is surprising that commonly consumed bread manufactured by leading Indian companies were found to contain potassium bromate and potassium iodate, both cancer-causing chemicals. First it was pesticides in colas, then lead in instant noodles, and now potassium bromate in breads. In 1999, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified Potassium Bromate as possibly carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans. Many countries have banned the use of potassium bromate and potassium iodate in bread and the report shows that food safety awareness in India is still abysmally poor. Potassium bromate is a powerful oxidising agent, use of which makes bread fluffy, soft and gives it a good finish. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permitted additives.

Most of the packaged food available in India have some amount of harmful ingredients due to relaxed or no regulation from Indian government. The government must take this issue seriously and test the samples in an independent laboratory. Bread is used by kids and recovering patients in delicate condition as it is soft to eat.

Vinod C. Dixit

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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