What’s Cooking? Harmful Additives In Our Bread


Be on the lookout for potassium bromate, also know as “Bromated flour”. If you talk to the local baker around the corner, he/she may insist that potassium bromate is one of the best conditioners there is for dough. They are correct. After all they are the experts on dough!? But this stuff is not on good terms with the FDA.

For 20 years potassium bromate the, additive used to assist the raising process and provide an appealing texture, has been limited to an appropriate amount in bake shops. Overseas, in the United Nations and the World Health Organization decided to remove it from the list of successful flour additives in 1990 when it was found to be a carcinogen. The FDA in the United States, however decided to run its own test on the carcinogenic flour additive and found that 20 ppb is a safe residual amount that can be consumed.

But how safe is it to consume? Anything that could possibly be cancer-causing should not be consumed even in the most moderate amounts. The FDA approved the amount that is appropriate to consume assuming the rest has been baked out of the dough. There are no hard pressed regulations to ensure that the residual potassium bromate doesn’t exceed 20 ppb, so in my opinion bromate-free is the best.

Check the label! There are plenty of baked products out there that don’t contain potassium bromate and place it explicitly on the label. Gold medal brand, Pepperidge Farm, Pillsbury, and Whole Foods flours all offer bromate-free alternatives.

Check out the FDA website for more information on potentially harmful additives on foods that you may eat on a regular basis.




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