A bread manufacturers’ body said it will stop using the controversial potassium bromate and potassium iodate as additives in its products from Thursday night.
This move comes in light of allegations on bread makers about the presence of carcinogenic chemicals in their products.
The All India Bread Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 organised bread manufacturers such as Harvest Gold and Britannia, has, however, asked food safety regulator (FSSAI) to verify the findings of the CSE report that claimed most of the breads sold in New Delhi contained cancer-causing chemicals.
“FSSAI has already said that use of potassium bromate as an additive will be stopped and a notification will be issued within 6-7 days. Hence, we have decided to stop using potassium bromate and potassium iodate voluntarily,” All India Bread Manufacturers Association president Ramesh Mago said.
Mago, however, said proper scientific study must be done on the issue. “We would go to FSSAI and ask them to verify the claims by CSE,” he said.
When asked as how much time the industry would take to implement it, he said,”It would come in effect immediately. It would not be used in the fresh production from tonight.”
Harvest Gold MD Adil Hussain and member executive council AIBMA said, “It’s a matter of respecting public opinion. We would use other alternatives such as enzymes and emulsifiers depending on what product we are making.”
He, however, said the said chemical was in the book, which FSSAI publishes in which 11,000 ingredients are allowed to be used for food products. “It has been there for almost two decades and not a recent occurrence. The industry is very clear that it’s an additive, which is safe and legally allowed by FSSAI in India and FDA in USA and perfectly safe,” Hussain said.
Mago said that after CSE study claiming that bread contains cancer-causing chemicals, sales have been affected. “We have an impact of around 10% on our sales,” he said adding it would return to normal once the controversial substance is not used.