Bread is a hot topic of discussion not only because of its high gluten content but more so now because of the dangerous chemicals added to it to prolong its shelf life and also to make it firm.
Bread was considered as a harmless breakfast food, but it has been found that eating bread can cause your untimely death as it has tumour-causing additive Potassium Bromate in it, which strengthens bread dough and many leading bread brands use it as an ingredient. Countries like UK, Canada, China and Sri Lanka have all banned this dangerous ingredient but Indian food regulators have yet to take a stand against it.
In India, breads like Britannia, ‘Harvest Gold and ‘Perfect have used this chemical. If potassium bromate is not listed on the label as ‘924a , it may not always mean that the bread is without the chemical. Potassium bromate may be included in the ‘salts put in the bread and therefore may not be labeled as an independent ingredient.
Let us look at some other dangerous ingredients in Bread:
⦁ Dough Conditioners – These are added for commercial production of bread as it makes makes the process of large scale bread production faster and cheaper for the food industry to make bread in big machinery. Some of the dough conditioners are azodicarbonamide (which is banned all over the world), DATEM, monoglycerides, diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate are linked to health issues.
⦁ Preservatives –Bread companies add preservatives like calcium propionate to bread to increase its shelf life. This preservative has been linked to ADHD and so if you see this ingredient on the nutritional labels of bread then never eat that brand. Bread is supposed to be fresh and eaten within a few days from baking unless frozen.
⦁ GMOs– Many bread companies add ingredients that are often from genetically modified seeds, for example soy lecithin, soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch or soy flour to make bread. The negative impact of GMOs on human health are not proven and the USFDA considers them safe. However, there is a large section of people who do not think so and will avoid eating a specific brand of bread if they knew that it contained GM ingredients and GM free alternatives were available. In addition, as most of the popular genetic modifications today are created to generate resistance to weed killers, weed killer residue in the GM ingredient is a matter of concern.
⦁ Sugar – Some bread brands do not use sugar or honey to sweeten the bread but rather use high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like “Sucralose” that can pose health risks.
⦁ Artificial flavors and coloring – Ingredients like “caramel coloring” is created by heating with ammonia and may have carcinogenic residue when created this way, so watch out for this ingredient and avoid it. The FDA has made it mandatory for these colouring to be mentioned on bread packets in the USA but we are not sure if it is mandatory in India and whether all bread makers in India are following the rules. This may often be hidden within the innocent sounding “permitted colours”.
Foodnetindia does not recommend eating bread with the above mentioned ingredients and recommends eating bread made with organic ingredients not sprayed with pesticides. Nobody deserves to eat bread with chemical additives.