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ASSESSMENT OF POTASSIUM BROMATE IN BREAD SOLD IN ABIA STATE (A CASE STUDY OF ABA METROPOLIS)
Bread samples were obtained from different locations in Aba environs,Abia State Nigeria, with random selective sampling and to assess their potassium bromate contents (mg/100g). Twenty (20) bread samples were used, the results showed that the presence of potassium bromate in each of the 20 bread samples were high for human consumption. The bromate level in bread samples determined range from 74.00 to 952.83mg. which is above the maximum amount of potassium bromate allowed in bread by food and drug administration (FDA) (0.02mg/100g).
Bread is an important source of food inNigeria. 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 its quality. 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 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 improver) 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 rising 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. (Ayo, et al, 2002) The first category deals with effects related to non cancer effect.
This includes its effect on the nutritional quality of bread. It degrades vitamins available in bread (IARC, 1999).
In humans, potassium bromate can cause cough and sore throat when inhaled, 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 reviewed the potential of potassium bromate to cause cancer in experimental animals and in humans, bromate as bread improver has been banned (Ekop et al, 2008). InNigeriahowever, some bread makers/bakeries have continued to include potassium bromate in their bread.
It is against this background that this investigation was undertaken inAbiaStateofNigeriawhere bread consumption is very high. This work therefore is aimed at assessing the level of potassium bromate in bread, sold inAbia StateNigeria(a case study ofAbametropolis)