Published On : Tue, May 24th, 2016

Citizens of Nagpur express anguish and ire over use of harmful chemicals in bakery products


Representational pic

Nagpur: The report of a recent study carried out by Centre for Science and Environment said that 84 per cent sample of bread was found to be Carcinogenic has created panic in the entire country. The report of Centre for Science and Environment said that the main ingredient of our breakfast that most of us start our day with could be injuries to our health. The report suggested that we could end up with dreaded diseases like cancer.  Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has come up with very distressing results after testing 38 samples of some of the most readily available pre-packaged breads in the Delhi market. The Test carried out by CSE on variants of white bread, whole wheat or Atta bread, as well as sandwich breads, pizza breads, burger buns and pavs. It was carried out between May and June last year. As a result, a staggering 84 percent of the samples (34 on 38) were found to be laced with carcinogenic and thyroid triggering chemicals, particularly Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate. The test was conducted by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory.

Considering the seriousness of the problems and the possible cancer causing ingredients use, many European countries including Canada, Australia, UK and United States of America has banned them. However India continues to permit their use in food processing. Considering the seriousness of the problem, the Union Minister for Health J P Nadda has ordered an enquiry into the matter.

So what is Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate?


How they can affect your health!

Long-term health impact of potassium bromate:
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there was sufficient evidence that showed the carcinogenicity of Potassium Bromide. The chemical was found to cause – renal tubular tumors (adenomas and carcinomas) thyroid follicular tumours peritoneal mesotheliomas in laboratory animals. Also, long-term carcinogenicity studies and in vivo and in vitro mutagen city studies showed that Potassium Bromate was a “Genotoxic Carcinogen” or a chemical agent that damaged genetic information, causing mutations.

Potassium Iodate and health impacts:
Similarly, Potassium Iodate is not recommended as a flour treatment agent in several countries due to possible higher intake of iodine. Studies showed that both insufficient and excessive iodine can lead to thyroid disorders, and hypo- and hyperthyroid status in humans, thereby increasing the risk of thyroid cancer.

Although, evidence about the health effects of Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate were mounting, KbrO3 and KIO3 – both are chemical food additives – which according to Indian food regulations, can be used as flour treatment agents. Considering that both the chemicals can cause cancer, CSE recommended that FSSAI should prohibit the use of Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodine in making bread and bakery products with immediate effect.

Harmful for small children: Dr Agrawal
While speaking to Nagpur Today, Family Physician Dr Sajan Agrawal said that both the chemicals are bad for human consumption. Continuous use of these contents causes diseases like cancer especially small children. Children often become victims of diseases like Thyroid and throat infections because of constant use of these chemicals. In India there is no prohibition in the use of these chemicals for manufacture or baking breads. However, at least now the Government should play a sensitive role and ban use of these harmful chemicals. These chemicals are used for fermentation and Pottasium Bromate is used for creating a net like shape inside the bread. Dr Agrawal added that tests should be regularly being carried out in every city and every state on a regular basis.

Buy bakery products from reliable bakers’ shop
Ani Ray ( Fitness Consultant)
Ani Ray (Fitness consultant) said that one should buy bakery products from the small and reliable bakeries instead of bakeries of big company (where there is a possibility of blatant use of harmful chemicals) since small companies provide fresh bakery products without any preservatives. One should use multi-grain or whole wheat bread instead of white bread opined Ani Ray.

Only big companies use harmful chemicals
Divjeev Sabarwal
Divjeet Sabarwal (Owner of Redz) claimed that only big companies having multiple bakery products use these harmful chemicals as preservatives or for fermenting etc in the bakery products. They use it so that the shelf life of their bakery products last for a week. He opined that bakery products from local trusted bakeries should be consumed where preservatives or harmful chemicals are not used.

Vinisha RupaniShould be within the limit
Vinisha Rupani (Assistant Manager Axis Bank) said that everything is good in limit. Excessive consumption of any product or thing is dangerous.

Priya Sadhwani HussainPriya Sadhwani Hussain (Interior Designer) said that in this fast paced life, people are habitual to fast food and unhealthy snacks. Like Maggie, people tend to use Breads and Buns on regular basis in their day to day life. Regular use of many of these products is harmful for humans. She opined that Breads and other bakery products Buns should not be used on daily basis.

Ankesh KamdarAnkesh Kamdar (Business man) opined that harmful ingredients which are being used in Breads and Buns should be omitted at least when we have come to know about their ill-effects. In many other countries, people don’t use these bakery products for more than a day. People in India should avoid excessive use of these products having these harmful chemicals which are supposedly used for preparing the bakery items.

Kedar Singh RoteleKedar Singh Rotele (Disc Jockey) said that people should use multi-grain or brown bread since it does not contain harmful chemicals. Regular consumption of bakery products should be avoided.

Rajesh GolchhaRajesh Golccha (Officer JSW Steel) Bread and Buns are basic needs of beggars and hence these bakery products should not be banned. However, those companies or bakers who use harmful chemicals in the bakery products should be punished.