Potassium Bromate is added to bread and other flours as a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in doughs, making the bread stronger and more elastic. Commercial bakers use bromated flour because it yields dependable results and can stand up to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools. It is also used to render inferior flour with low protein levels more useable since these flours do not develop enough gluten on their own. Bromate is considered a category 2B carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), meaning that it may be harmful when consumed. In theory, the substance is supposed to bake out of bread dough as it cooks, but if too much is added, or if the bread is not cooked long enough or not at a high enough temperature, then a residual amount remains. Potassium Bromate is not banned in the United States. California must add a warning label when bromated flour is used. Some organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest have lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to ban Potassium Bromate as a food additive in the United States. Instead, since 1991 the FDA has urged bakers to voluntarily stop using it.
To avoid packaged foods that contain bromate, look for %u201Cpotassium bromate%u201D or %u201Cbromated flour%u201D in the ingredient list. Bromated flour is likely to be found in your local pizza shop, but not in Dominos Pizza or Pizza Hut (though it uses bleached flour). You will also find bromated flour in Arby%u2019s French Toastix and Burger King%u2019s hamburger buns. It is also found in hoagie rolls at your local Johnny Rocket Restaurant. You may also find in your supermarket flour brands, especially Gold Medal flours by General Mills. Tell FDA to START doing thier jobs and STOP adding Potasium Bromate to our food. TODAY!!
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