Ever come across the word “bromate free”…sure you do. You hear it every time there’s an advert on bread, you even see it on the packages of branded breads. So the question you should be asking is what is bromate free?
Bromated flour is flour which has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in dough. Typically, bromated flour is used in bread production, some commercial bakers use this type of flour because it yields dependable results, and it makes stronger, more elastic dough which can stand up to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools. Home bakers may choose to use it for much the same reason, when obtainable.
Potassium bromate is classified as a potential carcinogen and has been replaced by Ascorbic acid as a food additive in a number of areas.
Ideally, the end product should be entirely devoid of potassium bromate, which changes to potassium bromide, a harmless by product, during baking.
However, whenever bromated flour isn’t baked for long enough or at a high enough temperature, or if too much potassium bromate is added in the first place, this harmful additive can potentially be found in the final product in far greater quantities.
Today, many small and commercial bakeries voluntarily avoid using bromated flour. However, it’s still found in many fast food buns and some flours, among other products.
To avoid this additive, check ingredients lists for “potassium bromate” and “bromated flour.”
Pass it on: Potassium bromate is an unnecessary and potentially harmful food additive, and should be avoided.