Potassium Iodate, a flour treatment agent, is likely to cause thyroid disorders according to international studies.
Thiruvananthapuram: The office of the Food Safety Commissioner in the state will launch a drive to test samples of bread, bun and baking goods. The move is in response to a report by a Delhi-based non-profit that 84 per cent of bread and bakery samples collected from New Delhi contain residues of hazardous chemicals.
The report by the research NGO, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), says that the samples contained Potassium Iodate and Potassium Bromate in the range of 1.15-22.54 ppm. Technically this is within 50 ppm, the maximum permissible limit for these chemicals according to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Gokul V.R., holding the additional charge of Food Safety Commissioner, says, “We will wait for instructions from the FSSAI, who has taken stock of the studies. Meanwhile, we will take samples of bread and other baked goods to see if the levels of the two additives are within the current permissible limits. The data will be useful, even after regulations are changed.”
FSSAI is yet to issue a notification banning Potassium Bromate, though it has conveyed to the media that it will initiate steps in that direction. A newsletter published by FSSAI in 2012 says that a meeting of its scientific committee had recommended the ban of the chemical as an additive.
Potassium Bromate, classified as possibly carcinogenic, is banned in many countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and China. It is used to render a fluffier product. Under ideal baking conditions, it is converted to Potassium Bromide, but the residues prove that this does not always happen.
Potassium Iodate, a flour treatment agent, is likely to cause thyroid disorders according to international studies. Many of the companies, alleged of using the two chemicals in their products, were in the defensive. Since the study has been published by an NGO, an independent study by the Commissioner’s office will help throw light into the actual situation.