Metal oxides

What is potassium bromate? Why is potassium bromate used in food? Is potassium bromate safe to consume? Is there research into potassium bromate's safety?

KBrO

Potassium bromate (KBrO3) is a chemical compound composed of potassium, bromine, and oxygen. It is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in water. Potassium bromate has been used primarily as a food additive and in certain industrial processes, although its use in food has become controversial due to potential health concerns.

Here are some key points about potassium bromate:

1. Baking Agent: Potassium bromate has been used in the baking industry as a dough conditioner and leavening agent. It helps improve the texture and volume of bread and other baked goods. It achieves this by strengthening the dough, allowing it to rise more efficiently, and resulting in a lighter, fluffier product.

2. Maturing Agent: In some countries, potassium bromate has been used as a maturing agent for flour. It helps in reducing the dough's aging time and can improve the baking process in terms of consistency and efficiency.

3. Controversy: The use of potassium bromate in food has generated controversy due to concerns about its safety. Studies on laboratory animals have suggested that it may be a potential carcinogen, capable of causing cancer. As a result, many countries have banned or strictly regulated its use in food products. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified potassium bromate as a Group 2B carcinogen, indicating it is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

4. Alternatives: Because of the health concerns associated with potassium bromate, many bakers and food manufacturers have shifted to alternative dough conditioners and leavening agents, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), azodicarbonamide, and enzymes.

5. Legal Regulations: The use of potassium bromate in food is regulated or banned in various countries. For example, the European Union, Canada, and many other nations have banned its use in food products. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set limits on the allowable level of residual potassium bromate in bread, but it is not banned outright.

6. Safety Precautions: When potassium bromate is used in industrial processes, precautions must be taken to minimize exposure to workers and the environment. This includes proper handling, storage, and disposal methods to prevent harm.

Due to the potential health risks associated with potassium bromate, many consumers are advised to check ingredient labels on bread and other baked goods and opt for products that do not contain this additive or, in areas where it is banned, are produced without it.


Formula: KBrO3
Molecular Weight: 167.0 g/mol
Form: white hexagonal crystals
CAS Number: 7758-01-2
EC Number: 231-829-8
Density: 3.27 g/cm³
Synonyms: Potassium bromate(V), Bromic acid, potassium salt, Bromic acid, Kaliumbromat

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The Role of Potassium Bromate in Baking and Food Production (KBrO3) compound name

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