Does your favourite bread company use carcinogen potassium bromate?
Tests carried out on a sample of atleast 38 bread and bakery samples from retail shops, bakeries andfast food outlets in New Delhi have revealed that atleast 12 out of the popular breads, buns and pizza bases tested contain a known carcinogen as an ingredient.
The Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE) Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) tested samples of bread and confectionary products between May - June 2015, for potassium bromate and iodate, and found startling results.
The 12 samples that tested positive were found to have the two carcinogens that have been banned in several countries including the European Union (since 1990) and later Canada Ausralia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, China, Brazil and even Nigeria, Peru and Columbia.
Here is a list of companies whose products were tested and the results
Perfect Premium Quality Breads were found to have the highest levels of either potassium bromate and/or iodate in their finished products.
Perfect Premium Quality Brown Bread samples recorded 8.16 ppm (parts per million) and the highest level of 22.54 ppm was recorded in Harvest Gold Sandwich Bread – Premium Large Size.
Perfect Bread is the only one lists Potassium Bromate as an ingredient.
In the white bread category, Harvest Gold White Bread – Premium Quality tested positive with the highest concentration of 17.32 parts per million ppm.
However, all Defence Bakery products, English Oven Sandwich Bread and Nirula’s Chatpata Aloo Burger tested clean.
Reports suggest that bread, buns and pizza bases used by KFC, Subway, Mc Donald's, Slice of Italy, and Domino's have also tested positive for these carginogens.
The samples included popular varieties of white bread, whole wheat/atta bread, brown bread, multigrain bread, sandwich bread, pav, bun, ready-to-eat burger bread and ready-to-eat pizza bread.
The CSE report stated that the tests were conducted on a UV-visible spectrophotometer using a published method.
Both, potassium bromate and potassium iodate oxidise the dye, producing the same colour and indicating the presence of either one or both chemicals.
CSE approached the 12 companies whose samples were positive for bromate and/or iodate for a comment on the use of these chemicals.
Britannia was the only sliced bread manufacturer to respond to CSE’s queries. “All our products are 100% in compliance with the existing food safety regulations,” A Savitri, Head of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at Britannia, said in an email.
“We do not use potassium bromate, potassium iodate in any of our bread variants,” she added.
CSE's tests showed that Britannia products had 17.12 ppm in their bread.
The other five companies that categorically denied the use of these additives were Slice of Italy, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC and Subway, all of which are fast food brands all of whom tested positive for use of these chemicals according to PML.
The other companies are yet comment to CSE’s queries.