Health dept to test bread samples in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the report of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) that most commonly available brands of pre-packaged bread contain life threatening chemicals, the Odisha government has asked the Health department for a comprehensive test of all types of breads available in the market.

“We have planned to collect the samples of all types of breads available in the market in a couple of days and send them for test to ascertain the presence of the chemicals. On the basis of the chemical analysis report, we would take actions accordingly,” Arun Kumar Chatterjee, Food Security Officer, told OTV today.

However, some leading bread manufacturing companies have claimed that there are no harmful chemicals in their product.

“The first thing is, if the amount of the bread improver yeast added to the bread is less, then the bread would be hard and if the amount is more, the bread will not have the proper shape. Before the product enters the market, our quality control team completes its entire process thoroughly,” Jayanarayan Pujapanda, CEO, Paris Bakery, said.

He said his company has sent all its products to its testing labs again for another test before the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) conducts its test.

According to Dr Manoranjan Mahapatra, a cancer specialist, there is a permissible limit for chemicals which are added to the breads. “If the permissible limits exceed or if other chemicals are added to the breads, then it would be hazardous for health,” he pointed out.

Notably, the CSE report released yesterday had stated that nearly 84 percent of 38 commonly available brands of pre- packaged breads, including pav and buns, have tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate which are banned in many countries as these chemicals are listed as “hazardous” for public health.

The report also claimed that potassium bromate, one of the chemicals used in bread making, is a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) while the other could trigger thyroid disorders but India has not banned their use.

The FSSAI regulations permit the use of Potassium Bromate and/or Potassium Iodate at 50ppm maximum for bread and at 20ppm maximum in ‘maida’ for bakery purpose under food products standards.