Over 180 bakeries in Rivers State received certification from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, which declared their product free from potassium bromate.
This was part of the recent annual bread monitoring exercise in which NAFDAC conducted on-the-spot test on bread
baked in over 180 registered bakeries.
At an event marking the exercise in Port Harcourt, NAFDAC State Coordinator, Mrs. Mercy Ndukwe, said the state achieved 100 percent success in the annual monitoring exercise due to the effective regulation and enlightenment campaign embarked upon by the agency on the harmful effect of using potassium bromate in baking bread.
In a keynote address at the flag-off ceremony, the Director General of the agency, Dr, Paul Orhii, reiterated the determination of NAFDAC to enforce the ban on the use of potassium bromate in bakeries.
Orhii, who was represented by the South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Benson Kine, said “the use of potassium bromate in flour milling and baking of bread was banned in Nigeria since 1993 and NAFDAC in its unflinching determination to enforce the ban has prescribed stiffer penalties including prosecution of defaulters to serve as deterrent. In addition, the continuous collaboration, dialogue and consultation with stakeholders, the Association of Master Bakers, Flower Millers and others formed part of the strategies to enforce the ban.”
He urged bakers to participate in the bread monitoring exercise which will be conducted annually and was designed to include on-the-spot testing of bread and if required the improver used for baking, training of bakers, issuance of certificate of attendance to participating bakers and list of approved bread improvers.
“Variation in the composition of flour necessitated the need for an improver and potassium bromate became attractive due to its low cost and ability to act as an efficient oxidizing agent,” he stated, but its use has been banned and removed from bread improvers generally regarded as safeingredients by the Food and Agricultural Organisation/World Health Organisation (FAO/WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives worldwide.’’
He said toxicology study on potassium bromate had shown that it degrades vitamin A2, B1, B2, E and niacin which are the main vitamins available in bread. In humans, it can cause cough and sore throat when inhaled.
Other health hazards associated with the use of potassium bromated include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, kidney failure, hearing loss, bronchial and ocular problems and its potential to cause cancer (carcinogenic), while chronic exposure may lead to kidney damage.
Also, in a brief remark, the Chairman of Master Bakers Association of Nigeria, Rivers State branch, Mr. Kolawole Adelegan, commended NAFDAC for the seminar, saying every interaction with the agency enriches them and pledged their compliance to the ban on potassium bromate.

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