An Investigation Into The Health Dangers Of Potassium Bromate In Bread

Project and Seminar Material for Food and Nutrition

An Investigation Into The Health Dangers Of Potassium Bromate In Bread


Abstract


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 including Nigeria.

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.


Table of Contents


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Bread
  • 2.1.1 Functional Ingredients in Bread Production
  • 2.1.1.1 Flour
  • 2.1.1.2 Water
  • 2.1.1.3 Yeast
  • 2.1.1.4 Salt
  • 2.1.1.5 Sugar
  • 2.1.1.6 Shortening
  • 2.1.1.7 Oxidizing Agents
  • 2.2.0 Potassium Bromate
  • 2.3.0 Gluten Protein
  • 2.4.0 Composite Flour
  • 2.4.1 Soya Bean Flour
  • 2.4.2 Maize Flour
  • 2.4.3 Cassava Flour
    2.5 Chemistry and Production
  • 2.6 Use of Potasium Bromate in Bread
  • 2.7 Toxicity of Potasium Bromate

Chapter Three

Materials and Methods

  • 3.0 Materials
  • 3.1 Method
  • 3.1.1 Analysis of Potassium Bromate in Bread
  • 3.1.2 Analysis of Lead in the Bread Samples

Chapter Four

Results and Discussion


Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.0 Summary
  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Bread 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, 1997).

The 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 baking 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.

Potassium 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 effect.

This 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, 1999).

Studies (IARC, 1999) have shown significant differences in essential fatty acid content of flour treated with bromate or in bread made from flour containing bromate.

In 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.

Furthermore, 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

Following 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

The main aim of this study is to investigate into the harmful effects of potassium bromated in bread. Specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To analyze the effect of potassium-bromate in bread.
  2. To examine the toxicity of potassium bromated in bread bakery.

1.4 Research Questions

In-order to achieve the stated objectives above, the researcher formulate the following research questions:

  1. What are the effects of potassium bromated on bread?
  2. What is the level of toxicity potassium bromated posses in the production of bread?

1.6 Significance of Study

This 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

The 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

However, there were some constraints that impinged on the research, these are;

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.

Time Constraint:

The limited time frame given to achieve the research was also a constraint to the study.


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.

Flour

Is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, or other seeds or roots (like Cassava). 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

A Tumor

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.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

KBrO3 exerts nephrotoxic and ototoxic effects in experimental animals as well as in man. KBrO3 is a genotoxic carcinogen inducing renal cell tumors, mesotheliomas, and thyroid follicular cell tumors in rats. KBrO3 is a complete carcinogen having both initiating and promoting activities for the development of renal cell tumors.
It is highly probable that active oxygen radicals are involved in the demonstrated carcinogenic and toxic effects. Commercial bread made from flour treated with KBrO3 is not carcinogenic in experimental animals, probably because almost all of the KBrO3 is converted to KBr during the bread-baking process. KBrO3 is a useful new compound for analyzing the roles played by active oxygen radicals in carcinogenesis, both in vivo and in vitro.


5.1 Conclusion

The results of this study show that, all the 23 bread samples analyzed contain potassium bromate above limit and some traces of lead. Bakers should ensure that appropriate hygiene and proper water treatment are maintained in and around facilities where bread is produced. This study also underscores the importance of routine checks by the regulatory authorities in order to ensure that bakers always comply with rules and regulations in order to safe guard the life of unsuspecting Nigerians.


5.2 Recommendation

Potassium bromate (KBrO3) is an oxidizing agent that has been used as a food additive, mainly in the bread-making process. Although adverse effects are not evident in animals fed bread-based diets made from flour treated with KBrO3, the agent is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in both man and experimental animals when given orally. It has been demonstrated that KBrO3 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 KBrO3 is a complete carcinogen, possessing both initiating and promoting activities for rat renal tumorigenesis. However, the potential seems to be weak in mice and hamsters. In contrast to its weak mutagenic activity in microbial assays, KBrO3 showed relatively strong potential inducing chromosome aberrations both in vitro and in vivo. Glutathione and cysteine degrade KBrO3 in vitro; in turn, the KBrO3 has inhibitory effects on inducing lipid peroxidation in the rat kidney. Active oxygen radicals generated from KBrO3 were implicated in its toxic and carcinogenic effects, especially because KBrO3 produced 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine in the rat kidney. A wide range of data from applications of various analytical methods are now available for risk assessment purposes.


An Investigation Into The Health Dangers Of Potassium Bromate In Bread


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