Potassium bromate is an additive widely employed by bread makers to improve bread quality. On account of its deleterious effect and carcinogenicity in humans, certain levels of potassium bromate are not allowed in bread. Use of potassium bromate in bread is banned in many countries including Nigeria. The present evaluation was carried out in eastern part of Nigeria where consumption of bread is high. Twenty-three different brands of breads were sampled. Quality assessment shows that, all the brands contained potassium bromate in a quantity that exceeded the minimum allowed by the FDA. In addition, all the sampled breads contained trace amount of lead, a substance which is harmful to health. On the basis of these, all twenty three bread brands sampled were considered unsafe for human consumption and bread makers should be discouraged from using potassium bromate as bread improver.
Key words: Bread, safety, potassium bromate, lead.
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