The Health Ministry might ban potassium bromate as a food additive, following a Centre for Science and Environment study that showed high levels of the chemical in bread samples in Delhi. Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday said he had asked the Food Safety Standards Authority of India to submit a report on the issue, and added that the regulator had decided to remove the chemical as a permitted food additive.
“They are coming out with a report. The Ministry will take appropriate action accordingly. We will take action as soon as the report comes,” Nadda said. The CSE study had found that 84% of samples tested contained high levels of potassium bromate in several types of bread, buns, pizza bases, etc.
The CSE study had also found high levels of another food additive, potassium iodate, in the bread samples tested. Potassium bromate is listed as being possibly cancer-causing to humans, while potassium iodate can lead to increased iodine intake. The FSSAI is also expected to investigate the use of potassium iodate as an additive. Both chemicals are banned in several other countries.