MEERUT: Two days after the government banned use of potassium bromate as a food additive, the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) said that items that use bread will be tested for the prohibited additive.
Speaking to TOI, JP Singh, chief food safety officer, said, “I have instructed all 18 food safety officers to start checking in their areas and take samples of breads, pavs, pizza bases and other edible items which use bread. Regular sampling checks were going on in the city but now we can take samples of the bread too after the recent ban. This ban will definitely intensify our raids.”
Meerut has three big bread-making units and many other small units. Authorities say unless samples are taken from each manufacturing unit, it can not be confirmed whether the producers use the banned product.
“We will intensify our raids not just in terms of taking samples from bread making units. We will also test the bread used in food outlets like Pizza Hut and Dominos. Any food outlet selling bread with the banned additive will have to face consequences,” said Singh.
The government on Monday banned the use of potassium bromate as a food additive following a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study that found its presence in bread caused cancer. A CSE study had found that 84 per cent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads, including pav and buns, tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate. The two food additives are banned in many countries and are listed as “hazardous” to public health. According to the CSE, potassium bromate typically increases dough strength, leads to higher rising and gives uniform finish to baked products. Potassium iodate is a flour treatment agent.
The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also referred potassium iodate — also claimed to be carcinogenic — to a scientific panel.