Potassium bromate is an additive widely employed by
bread makers to improve bread quality. On account of its deleterious effect and
carcinogenicity in humans, certain levels of potassium bromate are not allowed
in bread. Use of potassium bromate in bread is banned in many countries
The present evaluation was carried out in eastern
part of Nigeria where consumption of bread is high. Twenty-three different
brands of breads were sampled. Quality assessment shows that, all the brands
contained potassium bromate in a quantity that exceeded the minimum allowed by
the FDA. In addition, all the sampled breads contained trace amount of lead, a
substance which is harmful to health. On the basis of these, all twenty three
bread brands sampled were considered unsafe for human consumption and bread
makers should be discouraged from using potassium bromate as bread improver.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
is an important source of food in Nigeria. It is consumed extensively in homes,
restaurants and hotels. Bread is made from low protein wheat. It usually
contains several ingredients that would help improve the quality ofthe bread.
Some of the basic identified ingredients, apart from flour are table salt,
sugars, flavors and at least a flour improver such as potassium bromate (Vicki,
major challenge in both flour milling industry and bakeries is the baking
quality of flour, which is determined by the capacity of the dough prepared
from it to retain gas. As a result of wide variations in the composition of
flour, various treatments and supplements conditioning agents (flour/bread
improvers) are added for strength during mixing, extensibility for molding and
also to increase loaf volume and texture. Over the years, several improvers
have been used but studies have shown some to be deleterious to health, thereby
necessitating their ban. The use of potassium bromate has been a common choice
among flour miller and bakers throughout the world because it is cheap and
probably the most efficient oxidizing agent. It acts as a slow oxidizing agent
throughout the fermentation proofing and
process affecting the structure and the rheological properties of the dough. As
a result, many bakeries use potassium bromate as an additive to assist in the
raising process and to produce a texture in the finished product that is
appealing to the public.
bromate has adverse effect on health and its health effects are divided into
two categories. The first category deals with effects related to non cancer
includes its effect on the nutritional quality of bread. It degrades vitamins
A2, B1, B2, E and niacin which are the main vitamins available in bread (IARC,
(IARC, 1999) have shown significant differences in essential fatty acid content
of flour treated with bromate or in bread made from flour containing bromate.
humans, potassium bromate can cause cough and sore throat when inhaled (Atkins,
1993). Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, kidney failure, hearing
loss, bronchial and ocular problems, are some of the other non cancer health
problems associated with ingestion of potassium bromate (Atkins, 1993). In the
second category, numerous studies have revealed the potential of potassium
bromate to cause cancer in experimental animals and in humans (CSPI, 1999;
Watson, 2000). In bromate as bread improver has been banned (Ekop et al., 2008;
http://www.compassnews.net). In Nigeria however, some bread makers/bakeries
have continued to include potassium bromate in their bread.
a preliminary survey revealed that some other materials employed in bread
making (e.g. water) and the environments where these bakeries are located are
not free from contamination by heavy metals such as lead. It is against this
background that this investigation was undertaken in eastern part of Nigeria
where bread consumption is very high and where many of the bakeries are located
in the midst of slums and squartments. This study therefore is aimed at
assessing the safety of bread being marketed in the Nigerian market.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
the harmful effects potassium bromated posses on consumers, the harmful
substance was banned in 1993 by the Federal Ministry of Health. Potassium
bromate (KBrO3) is an oxidizing agent that has been used as a food additive,
mainly in the bread-making process. It has been demonstrated that potassium
bromate induces renal cell tumors, mesotheliomas of the peritoneum, and
follicular cell tumors of the thyroid. In addition, experiments aimed at
elucidating the mode of carcinogenic action have revealed that potassium
bromate is a complete carcinogen, possessing both initiating and promoting
activities for rat renal tumorigenesis.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
main aim of this study is to investigate into the harmful effects of potassium
bromated in bread. Specific objectives of the study are:
analyze the effect of potassium-bromate in bread.
examine the toxicity of potassium bromated in bread bakery.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
to achieve the stated objectives above, the researcher formulate the following
are the effects of potassium bromated on bread?
is the level of toxicity potassium bromated posses in the production of bread?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
study will help enlighten the masses as well as bread consumers on the harmful
effects of potassium bromated. The study will sensitize readers on why they
used help fight against bakery owners that still use potassium bromated as an
ingredient in the production of bread.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
study covers the effects of potassium bromated and its harmful effects on human
health using samples of bread from Enugu state in Eastern Nigeria. The
researcher could not cover a wider area due to financial and time constraints.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
there were some constraints that impinged on the research, these are;
1. Financial constraint: The cost of sourcing
information and collecting samples of bread was quite on the high side, which
included visiting various small businesses in the various towns that made up
the local government.
2. Time Constraint:
The limited time frame given to achieve the research was also a constraint to
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Bread is a staple food prepared by baking a dough of flour and water. It is popular around the world and is one of the world's oldest foods.
is a powder which is made by grinding cereal
or other seeds
It is the main ingredient of bread,
which is a staple food for many cultures, making the
availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political
issue at various times throughout history
as a synonym for a neoplasm
(a solid or fluid-filled [cystic] lesion
that may or may not be formed by an abnormal growth of neoplastic cells) that
appears enlarged in size.
Potassium bromate is produced by passing bromine into a solution of potassium hydroxide. An industrial electrolytic process
is used for large scale production.