Residual Bromate Assessment in Bread Samples from Tajoura city bakeries, Libya




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A total of 25 randomly purchased bread samples were analyzed in this study from 25 different bakeries in Tajoura city. Bread in Libya is highly consumed among all socioeconomic groups; it is mainly consumed in breakfast, dinner and school meals. Potassium bromate is the most popular additive used in bakery industry worldwide. Bakeries in the US used Potassium bromate as bread improver since 1914 to increase bread volume and texture and improve bread production. The main aim of this study is to assess the safety of bread by the measurement of residual potassium bromate using a rapid and reliable method and to investigate the level of compliance to the ban fourteen years later. This method is based on the reaction between bromate and iodide in acidic medium to produce iodine (I2). The absorbance of I2 was measured spectrophotometrically at 488nm. The calibration curve was linear (R2=0.9996) over the range 1.0 – 5.0mg/L of potassium bromate. Despite the ban of potassium bromate in Libya since 2005 due to its classification as a potential carcinogen it is still detected in local bread loaves. All samples showed high levels of potassium bromate to be 300 to 1333 more than the permissible level set by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is highly toxic for consumers and could threaten their health over prolonged regular consumption. A continuous pursuance and implementation of the ban on use of potassium bromate in baking industry in Libya is recommended. arabic 11 English 67

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