Food safety officials have lifted samples of various bread brands from across the State to check for potassium bromate or potassium iodate to make the bread softer and fluffier than what the flour can.
This is in view of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) recently releasing its study findings that these health-risk agents are being used extensively in breads.
Dip in sale
The All Kerala Mechanised Bakery Owners Association has claimed that the CSE report has triggered a 50 per cent dip in the sale of breads across the State.
It has vehemently denied using these agents, asserting that the flour used was enough to achieve quality.
The CSE report had said that 84 per cent of bread and bakery samples tested by the organisation were found to have residues of potassium bromate and potassium iodate.
While the Food Safety Standards Authority of India restricts the use of potassium bromate and iodate to 50 ppm (parts per million), the suspicion is that this rule is only flouted.
“We do not do indulge in such violation in Kerala,” Mr. Chandramohan said. And, the results of the samples are eagerly awaited.
In Kozhikode, six samples from popular international brand outlets and four local brands were lifted and sent for analysis, Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety P.K. Aleyamma said.
The association is apprehensive that the CSE study will hit the bread and bakery sector hard.
“We have 178 small, medium and large bread-making units as members across the State, with 100 of these in Malabar region. Together, these roll out 2.5 lakh loaves of bread every day.
“Only half the number of these is sold now, after the study report was made public,” he said.
Denying any unfair practice to improve taste or prolong shelf life, Mr. Chandramohan said. “In fact, we held a meeting with millers in 2011 to ask them not to add any chemical that will cause health problems.