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Not adding potassium bromate in breads: Bakery owners

Mysuru: Bread makers in Mysuru are upset over the reports that banned and ‘deadly’ substance – potassium bromate is being used to make bread as it has hit their business by 50% in the last two weeks.
Hotel, Sweets and Bakery Owners Association members are making a last-ditch to woo their customers back saying consumers can visit their work places to check the process of making bread and also can test their products in any labs including city-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).
The reports have kept its consumers away from buying bread from bakeries. This percentage is little higher in upscale localities as they have totally stopped eating it.
Krishna Bakery, Kuvempunagar, proprietor Anand told TOI that almost half of his customers have stopped buying bread. This is the first such situation he is facing. “We don’t use any chemical to prepare bread or bun. Maida, sugar, refined oil and yeast is used to make them. We’ll buy the best quality maida from well-known manufacturer, he claims.
Mohammed Nissar who is the secretary of the association said, “Preservatives are used in making bread or bun to improve their shelf life. Branded makers of bread may use them as they have to keep bread for nearly a week till they’re sold. The bread we make has a shelf life only of less than 48 hours or two days as no preservative is added to it. We make bread depending on the daily demand.”
“We provide quality bread and its products to our customers and none of local bread makers use any chemical substance like potassium bromate. Customers can visit shops to check how bread is made and what are the raw materials used. If they have any doubt, let them test the product in any labs or CFTRI for their satisfaction. Controversial report has hardly hit the business in Mysuru. We, the bakers see this as an effort to harass bread makers. Let the government fill in the vacancies of Food Safety Officers to conduct test of raw materials in factories as more than 80% posts are vacant in Mysuru,” said Narayanagowda C, president, Association of Hotel, Bakery and Sweet shop owners.
Potassium Bromate is used during the process of milling maida to claim their product is whiter and better than others. Some bakers or manufacturers of raw materials may add the agent for dough texture improvement to get white and soft bread, Ram Rajshekaran, director of Central Food Technological Research Institute said.
This is done to have a guaranteed shelf life of bread. “If maida is whiter, the price will be higher as it is believed that maida which is whiter is of better quality. Hence, its makers use chemical substance to make it white,” he added.
“Chemical substance like potassium bromate, however is used but it should be well within the permissible limit. It is the job of Food Safety Officers to ensure that the substance is not used beyond permissible limits as per the standards of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Officers have to collect samples and send it for analysis on regular basis and as and when it is needed. Some of the chemicals used in raw materials will be ‘deadly’ and hence they’re supposed to send samples for analysis without fail,” he said.
He said either CFTRI has received samples for analysis or any food safety officers have contacted them in this regard.

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