|Friday, 27 May, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]|
|Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi|
|The bread industry in the country has announced withdrawal of potassium bromate for the purpose of bread manufacturing. The industry representatives in a press conference, held here on Thursday,announced that since the matter related to the said additive generated controversy ever since the release of a report by CSE, a Delhi-based NGO, highlighting that it was carcinogenic, it considered it better to withdraw the same from any industrial usage.
The industry representatives, led by AIBMA (All India Bread Manufacturers Association), also stated that the move would help the unorganised sector to deal with the situation and help it in use of different enzymes and emulsifiers for the purpose of bread making.
Adil Hussain, MD, Harvest Gold, and member, AIBMA, stated that the members of the association that included Britannia, Harvest Gold, Modern, and Bonn decided to withdraw the use of the said additive. He informed, “Bromate has become controversial (after the release of the study by CSE) in deference to the public opinion at large as well as the FSSAI authorities, the AIBMA which represents all the organised bread manufacturing companies wishes to voluntary withdraw the use of these additives.”
He, however, pointed out that the food additive potassium bromate was considered safe and legal and hence allowed by FSSAI of India and the FDA of USA while there was no industrial usage of potassium iodate.
“It is pertinent to reiterate that these additives are considered safe, legal and approved for widespread use in the world’s most technologically advanced nation like the USA. We can, therefore confidently announce to the people of India that your daily bread is a safe food to eat,” he added.
Meanwhile, when asked about why the withdrawal is being done if the said additive is safe for the purpose of use, he told, “Since people think that this is a controversy and public doesn’t want this, we will not use this additive and use some other alternatives like enzymes and emulsifiers.”
The bread industry, which was estimated to be worth Rs 7,000 crore and produced 1.5 crore loaf per day, however, said that it did not suffer any setback after details on the study were revealed. Hussain said, “There is no effect seen on our businesses yet. There might be some segmented losses but no widespread effect was visible.”
He added that to propagate that bread manufacturers were using legal additives and to convey what was right, AIBMA would publish advertisements so that people as well as small players in the industry were informed about the same.
Referring to recall of the products in the market, he said that some of the players in the market might recall the stocks which were prepared using those controversial additives.
Meanwhile, a delegation of AIBMA met FSSAI officials in the evening. According to AIBMA president Ramesh Mago, they have made representation to the apex food regulator that they would stop using the said additive but they should be allowed to use the packaging, which mentioned the said additive. An AIBMA representative stated that they would strike the words potassium bromate on the packaging but this could only be done after FSSAI agreed, otherwise it would become illegal.