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Bread-makers start using stickers, safety-labels on packs

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 30, 2016

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FSSAI yet to come out with notification for removing potassium bromate as additive

Bread-manufacturers are going all out to convince consumers about the safety of their products with clear labelling and stickers proclaiming that their breads are potassium bromate-free, even though the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is yet to bring out a notification for removing it from the list of permissible food additives.

CSE report effect

The move by the All India Bread Manufacturers Association (AIBMA) follows a recent report by the Centre for Science and Environment claiming to have found carcinogenic chemicals in samples of bread and bakery products in the Delhi-National Capital Region Bread makers last week decided to stop using potassium bromate.

A food additive, potassium bromate is used to bind the dough and make it whiter.

AIBMA officials said after taking a decision to voluntarily stop using bromate, its members have now decided to put labels and stickers to disclose ingredient information to consumers.

Many pan-India players have already started selling bread with printed labels on their packaging, saying “this bread is bromate-free.”

Some other smaller players have started putting stickers till the time they come out with new packaging.

Special permission

AIBMA officials said they had got special permission from the FSSAI for using tickers on bread packs to inform consumers.

Ramesh Mago, President, All India Bread Manufacturers Association and MD of Kitty Industries, said: “Some players were already not putting potassium bromate in their breads. Other members of the association, who were using it, have stopped doing so. We do not directly purchase potassium bromate, it is the bread improving agents that may come with potassium bromate, and members are working on changing that now.”

He said in the next 7-10 days, he expects even smaller players to use potassium bromate-free bread improving agents. “As an association, our members have also taken a decision to put in clear labelling to clear the confusion in the consumer’s mind,” Mago said.

Impact on sales

While some industry players said bread sales had dipped 15-20 per cent following safety concerns, some others said the drop in sales was not significant any more.

Voluntary decision

HK Batra, MD, Perfect Bread and former President of AIBMA, said: “We asked for permission to put stickers and do black marking or cutting on labels, as smaller players may take time to change the packaging. Some varieties have longer shelf life, so we have got permission to use stickers for the next six months. Overall, players have started implementing the voluntary decision we took of not putting potassium bromate in bread.”

Published on May 30, 2016
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