White, fluffy bread might taste good, but did you know that there are often dangerous and harmful ingredients added to the bread? Next time you bite into a sandwich or a piece of bread, consider the source and quality of ingredients that were used to make it.
Does Your Bread Contain Carcinogens?
Commercial baking practices often use potassium bromate and other additions to improve the dough, strengthen the dough, and promote rising. Potassium bromate is an oxidizing agent, and it has been found to be quite dangerous. In fact, there are many countries that have banned it, but it is still allowed in the United States.
Studies as far back as 1982 found that potassium bromate can cause chemical developments that might lead to cancer. As a result, this ingredient is considered "possibly carcinogenic to humans," and it should be avoided.
But, it is included in many of the commercial bread products that you can find at the grocery store. Some companies have voluntarily ended the use of bromated flour, but others still use it today. In certain states there are laws about labeling, but consumers aren't always aware of the health dangers. For example, in California, it is required to put a cancer warning on the label if potassium bromate is used as an ingredient in the product.
Health Effects of Potassium Bromate
As mentioned earlier, potassium bromate has been linked with the development of cancer. Even a small amount might increase the risk to humans, so it is best to avoid this ingredient all together. Other health problems connected with the consumption of potassium bromate include kidney toxicity, kidney and thyroid tumors, and other health concerns.
Avoiding Potassium Bromate
One of the best things that you can do to protect your health is to avoid potassium bromate as much as possible. Always read the ingredient label and look for ingredients such as "bromated flour" and "potassium bromate." It can be surprising to look at the ingredient label for a loaf of bread to see so many ingredients, especially when delicious bread can be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Another option is to make your own bread, so that you know exactly which ingredients are added to the food. You can make gluten-free recipes or grind your own organic wheat to make bread for the whole family. With a little bit of practice, it is easy to bake a loaf to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.