India

Potassium bromate banned following bakery investigation

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags: Baking

The long-running potassium bromate in bread affair seems to have reached a conclusion, after India’s food regulator banned the chemical—a common bakery additive.

The ban follows an investigation by the Centre for Science and Environment, an NGO, which uncovered widespread use of the additive among bakeries and fast-food chains. 

The ban is unlikely to affect the Rs300bn (US$4.4bn) bread industry, as a majority of bakers had stopped using the additive after the CSE released its report last month, according to the president of All India Bread Manufacturers' Association, which represents India’s top baking brands, including Britannia, Harvest Gold and Modern.

FSSAI notified food manufacturers this week of the ruling, saying the "use of potassium bromate as an additive in any food is not allowed​".

While potassium bromate was used largely because of its low price, the AIBMA said that the cost of production was unlikely to increase now due to alternatives, such as ascorbic acid.

Potassium iodate, another ingredient with questionable safety uncovered by the CSE investigation, has been referred to the FSSAI’s scientific panel, with a view to remove it from the list of permissible food additives.

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