NEW DELHI: Potassium bromate, the food additive used in bread, which was found to cause cancer by a study by the Centre for Science and Environment, was on Monday banned by the Health Ministry.
While potassium bromate was banned, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has referred another additive, potassium iodate, to its scientific panel for further testing.
FSSAI CEO Pawan Agrawal said, “FSSAI has banned potassium bromate. A notification has been issued in this regard. As far as Potassium Iodate is concerned, it has been referred to a scientific panel”.
Last month, the regulator had recommended the removal of potassium bromate from the list of permissible food additives after a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found that 84 per cent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged bread tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate banned in many countries and listed as hazardous for public health.Potassium bromate typically increases dough strength, leads to higher rising and uniform finish to baked products while Potassium Iodate is a flour treatment agent. The CSE had also urged FSSAI to ban the use of potassium bromate and potassium iodate and prevent their routine exposure to Indian population. After the CSE study, a bread manufacturers’ body said they would stop using the controversial potassium bromate and potassium iodate as additives.