NEW DELHI: Leading bread makers on Thursday said that they will give up the use of
potassium bromate and potassium iodate in wake of a Centre for Science
and Environment study flagging their harmful effects on health,
including causing cancer. The CSE welcomed the decision.
bread makers' decision not to use these chemical additives came days
after Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned use of
potassium bromate. Meanwhile in West Bengal, production of bread in
over 4,000 bakeries has been hit by about 30 percent in wake of the
study, said industry associations.
At press conference here, All India Bread Manufacturers' Association said they will not use the two chemicals.
Hassan, managing director of Harvest Gold Industries, who addressed the
media, said they had been earlier using the additives as they had been
allowed by the government.
"We will not use potassium bromate
and iodate if people don't like it. We were using them as their use was
allowed by our government and scientists. We have other enzymes and
emulsifiers as their alternate," he said.
bromate was an oxidizing agent used in the process of making bread and
admitting its overuse was harmful, he said that "if used with
sophistication, it only adds to the (softness) of the product".
iodate never had any use for us. We were using it since government had
mandated its use for breads," he said, adding that the AIBMA has decided
to give up use of both additives because "there is a confusion among
the consumers regarding its use."
The CSE report, released on May
23, said that most of the breads made by the Indian companies are found
to contain potassium bromate and potassium iodate - food additives
banned in many countries for their adverse effects on human health.
The CSE welcomed the AIBMA decision.
have heard what the bread-making association has announced. We are
happy that they have decided to stop using potassium bromate and
potassium iodate within two-three days. This will reduce public health
risk from these chemicals," said CSE deputy director general Chandra
Bhushan in a statement.
He said CSE researchers had pointed out
that potassium bromate can possibly cause cancer and use of potassium
iodate can lead to excess intake of iodine, which could affect thyroid
Bhushan said CSE had welcomed FSSAI's move to ban
potassium bromate. "We urge FSSAI to also ban use of potassium iodate in
bread-making," he said.
However, speaking at an event in
Delhi, AIIMS director M.C. Mishra said that use of these chemicals might
pose some danger but no individual eats entire loaf of bread everyday.
of people eat a piece or two at the most, so in the long-term, there is
no need to panic much as has also been said by the FSSAI," he said.
Kolkata, West Bengal Bakery Co-ordinators Committee and West Bengal
Baker's Association said they will carry out sampling and testing of
breads from the bakeries.
"Our daily production ranges from 10 to
12 lakh pounds, but after the reports of bread allegedly causing cancer
started doing the rounds on media, our production was affected by 25 to
30 percent in the last couple of days," Sheikh Ismail Hossain,
secretary of the committee, told the media.
Hossain and his associates claimed the chemicals were not used in the bakeries in the state.
"They are not used at all. We use lipase and alpha amylase here," he said.
The committee said it has approached the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata to conduct analysis from bread samples.
Trinamool Congress MP Idris Ali, who is a bakery baron, urged people to not shun bread.
seems a part of some conspiracy. Bread is safe," said Ali, who is also
secretary, Joint Action Committee of West Bengal Baker's Association.
Meanwhile, Nahoum and Sons, the celebrated 113-year-old Jewish bakery in Kolkata, said its sales have not been affected at all.