Use of Cancer Causing Chemical Potassium Bromate Banned by Union Government as Food Additive [ Current Affairs ]


The use of potassium bromate (KbrO3) has been banned by Union Government the as a food improver as it is carcinogenic ad decided by the Union Health Ministry based on the recommendation of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

  • the Health Ministry has got recommendation from FSSAI to eliminate potassium bromate from the list of permissible food additives after a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) originate out that it is extensively prevalent in bread and refined flour


  • During the study 84 % of carcinogenic and thyroid triggering chemicals like Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate found mixed in the samples.
  • These chemicals content are found in the sandwich breads and then in white bread, pavs, pizza bread and burger buns in the more than permissible limits.
  • In many countries these two food additives are banned and listed as hazardous for public health.
  • Use of potassium bromate is banned by FSSAI but potassium iodate is still not banned.
  • It has been referred to a scientific panel as much as potassium iodate is concerned.

How and Why Potassium bromate is used?

  • Potassium bromate is bromate of potassium and made form the white crystals or powder.
  • It is used as chemical additive in food items. For strengthens the baking process it is aided in to bread dough to raise it higher.
  • The KbrO3 powder blenches the bread dough and raises its bounciness by making tiny bubbles that help the bread rise.
  • In India, 50 parts per million (ppm) is the legal permissible limit to add Potassium bromate as chemical additive in food.
  • And its High dosages are harmful.

Evidence of Toxicity:

  • Potassium bromate causes cancer was found in the study conducted in Japan in 1982.
  • That’s way many countries such as Japan, Australia, China and UK have banned it.
  • And according to some study potassium bromate is a “genotoxic carcinogen” i. e. a chemical agent that can damage genetic information, causing mutations.

About FSSAI:

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India’s agency.
  • The main work of FSSAI is to protect and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
  • The FSSAI has been established under the consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  • The current Chairperson of FASSI is Mr. Ashish Bahuguna and the headquarter is located at New Delhi.
  • The agency has 8 regional offices located in Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin and Chennai. 4 referral laboratories and 72 local laboratories located across the India.

- Published on: June 22, 2016