The trace of toxicity that may be hiding in our bread
Are you often wondering what the best, yet quickest meal options are for you each day? In our fast-paced modern world most of us have insufficient time to prepare nutritious food. The ideal quick food choices are often bread sandwiches or other bread-based options. Though saving time, the fast-food option can have more carcinogenesis when produced with the flour enhancer, potassium bromate. Potassium bromate is mostly used as a flour enhancer, to make more dough, and increase bread rise in the oven. Also, it helps to increase loaf volume and texture. “Flour of death” is the nickname given to the product containing potassium bromate (KBrO3).
The baking process converts potassium bromate into a salt - potassium bromide. But if ingredients aren’t mixed at the correct ratios, or aren’t cooked properly, the original compound may remain. In 1999, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified potassium bromate as possibly carcinogenic to humans. It is classified as category 2B carcinogen (potentially carcinogenic to humans). Recently, our findings about the toxicity of KBrO3 in experimental animals have been published in Cell Biology and Toxicology - An International Journal Devoted to Research at the Cellular Level.
The findings from our study have clearly emphasized that KBrO3 toxicity can result in renal cancer through renal oxidative stress. It also has genotoxic effect, in other words, it causes damage to the cell’s DNA.
Oxidative damage is the initial injury that can be caused when it is consumed every day, leading to vascular injury and damaging our blood vessels. If you can, it is best to consume such products once a week, so that you can give the body a chance to recover. Compared to normal individuals, a change in blood sugar level, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and abnormal blood filtration are more likely to be early symptoms associated with fertility complications and kidney problems.
You could say that “a bowl of rice may be a healthier choice.” When busy, it is an easy option to consume bread sandwiches, burgers, or pizzas that may have high doses of possible human carcinogens, which lead to renal oxidative stress, through frequent exposure that promotes renal carcinogenesis. A previous report from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE),
New Delhi on May 23rd, 2016, mentioned about 84% of analyzed bread samples (KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Subway and McDonald’s) tested positive with potassium bromate/iodate. Potassium iodate is another carcinogen which causes thyroid disorders. There is increased mortality due to a hormonal imbalance where the frequency of thyroid diseases is increased.
As reported, the incidence rate is 3% of all adult cancer and 85% of all kidney cancer.
The European Union, the UK, China, Canada and Brazil all forbid the use of the additive in baking. Followed by the CSE report, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to remove this from the list of permitted additives which set permissible limits is 50 parts per million as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Despite the banning decision of FSSAI, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Goa have found positive traces (4/18) of potassium bromate in bread samples, but within permissible limits (25 ppm - parts per million). According to the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 the maximum permissible limit is 20 ppm.
Approximately, 1 in 20 of us have been having bread-based food which could have low to high doses of potassium bromate. The steps taken might be absurd for those who are not aware of the toxicity of potassium bromate. The recent decision of FSSAI has helped to nudge organizations to remove potassium bromate from their list of preservatives and permitted additives. People who are less familiar about the toxicity of potassium bromate may find taking precautions absurd.
There are lots of disparate pieces in the food safety system here, where no one knows who has control over toxicity. I think using higherquality ingredients is certainly worth it, if it means protecting the health of you and your loved ones.