For most homes, bread is a staple and many families do not realize that bromated flour is added to most commercial breads. It is important to understand a bit about what it can do to your body and your family.
What is bromated flour?
Bromated flour is essentially flour that has been mixed with potassium bromate. This compound is commonly used as an oxidizing agent that helps to strengthen the dough after it has been made and to encourage the rising of the dough.
This compound is commonly used in commercial baking because it is cheap and effective and it works quickly. Bromated flour is used widely and if you look on the ingredients of your bread, potassium bromate is a common ingredient.
Some companies have stopped using bromated flour while others continue to use this compound to help make their dough tougher.
The main concern with potassium bromate is that it has the potential to cause cancer in humans. There have been no significant human trials to either support or rule out this claim, but it has been known to cause cancer in lab rats. The FDA has not completely outlawed the use of potassium bromate in commercial baking and has instead encouraged bakers to voluntarily opt out of using potassium bromate.
The FDA allows the use of potassium bromate as long as it does not exceed 0.0075 parts per 100 parts of flour. Though this seems like a nominal amount, those families that eat large amounts of bread that contains bromated flour may have cause for concern.
What should you do?
Though there is no way that anyone can be told to avoid this compound completely, there are some ways that you can help to avoid the possible harmful effects of potassium bromate. Many baking companies have opted to use ascorbic acid instead of potassium bromate. It is always best to do your research if you are trying to avoid potassium bromate.
Most companies will list online if they are using bromated flour or not and many large companies like Pepperidge Farm and Pillsbury have stopped using this type of flour. For those that are looking to bake their own bread, you can find both bromated flour and non bromated flour.
Is it dangerous?
In small amounts, potassium bromate is not all that dangerous. In most cases, the potassium bromate does bake off but some does remain and is ingested. Depending on how much bread with bromated flour you ingest, the amount of potassium bromate you ingest can be nominal. However, if you are at all concerned, it is always best to take the time and look for non bromated options.
There are tons of great options for those that want to avoid potassium bromate. In small amounts, this compound may not be dangerous, however, in large quantities it has the potential to cause health issues in humans.
It is always best that if you feel you should be avoiding anything, you take the time to learn a thing or two about what you are avoiding and why. Knowing what to avoid and why you want to avoid it can help you make health conscious choices that can not only improve your health in the present, but also in the future.
While potassium bromate in small doses may not be all that harmful, long term or large amounts can cause health issues in the body. Asking questions is the best way to find out what may or may not hurt you and to figure out how to get the best foods for your family and your own body.
With the right information, anyone can get healthy with little to no effort and can help eliminate dangerous compounds from their daily diet to help make for a healthier life overall.