Author Topic: Bromated Flour  (Read 13543 times)

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Offline norma427

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Bromated Flour
« on: June 03, 2009, 08:11:37 PM »
I have been looking for information about bromated flour.  I see that potassium bromate is added to flour as an oxidizing agent to gluten.  It make the flour more stretchable and elastic.  Does it make a lighter and more open dough in the finished product?  I am looking to make Pizza with All Trumps which is bromated.  Is is true some states banned this additive in their flour?
Norma
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 08:22:59 PM »
Quote
Is is true some states banned this additive in their flour?

That's true.

Bromated flour is legal in the US, although state-by-state labeling laws require the manufacturer to clearly label the flour as such. And a lot of companies nowadays add ascorbic acid to the flour instead of potassium bromate, because it is classified as a carcinogenic and might be harmful to your health.
Mike

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 08:35:07 PM »
Norma,

This is a very controversial matter. For a brief description of potassium bromate, see the entry for that ingredient in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#P.

If you do a forum search on the term "bromate", you will get two pages of hits. One of the more contentious threads is the one at
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4867.msg41290.html#msg41290.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is a common substitute for potassium bromate but it performs differently and is not nearly as effective.

Peter

Offline Cass

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 08:44:14 PM »
I am looking to make Pizza with All Trumps which is bromated.
AT makes a bromated, and an unbromated.  :)
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Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 11:57:48 PM »
Does it make a lighter and more open dough in the finished product? 
Norma

Bromate allows you to mix your dough for less time, while still allowing the gluten mesh to retain the same amount of gas.   This shorter mix and better gas retention helps you to end up with a pizza that is tender and soft, even when baked at low temperatures.  It is especially helpful for people who like to bake their crusts a bit longer to obtain more char.   Typically this procedure could make a pizza too tough, but not with bromate.   It tends to make pizza lighter and fluffier, yes.....but I wouldn't say more open.  It actually tends to make smaller voids, so I would call that less open.  I hope I have helped.   

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 09:05:49 AM »
Norma,

For Tom Lehmann's view on the subject, see his post at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=30723#30723.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 11:03:46 AM »
Essen1, Peter, Cas, and Scottr,
Thank you all for helping me understand this topic more.  I wonder if other countries are banning the bromate from their flours, how is the US allowing it?  ::)  I still will try the All Trumps and see how it performs.  I read Novembers posts about this subject and that was very interesting.  I wonder how many people know about this subject? 
Thanks again,
Norma
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2009, 03:01:03 PM »
I'm all for a good pizza, but I'm glad I'm in a country that has the sense to ban such a product.

Anything that has the "potential" of being carcinogenic won't be entering into my ingredient list, even-if it was available.

I'd like to know how many pizzerias out there are actually using bromated flour..... is it legal for a pizza joint to use this type of flour and
not advice clientele ?

Kind of scary if you ask me. 

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bromated-flour.htm

Quote:

Bromated flour is flour which has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in doughs. Some commercial bakers use bromated 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 they can obtain bromated flour. Ascorbic acid has replaced potassium bromate as a food additive in a number of areas.

Potassium bromate is classified as a potential carcinogen, meaning that it may be harmful when consumed.
In theory, the substance is supposed to bake out of bread dough as it cooks, but if a residue remains behind in the bread, it could be harmful in the long term. A careful balance is required of manufacturers, since they must add enough of the substance to bromated flour to make it perform as expected while not adding too much. Many flour producers have switched to ascorbic acid, which has similar properties without the potential health risk.

In some countries, bromated flour has actually been banned out of concerns about health risks. In the United States, bromated flour is legal, although state by state labeling laws may dictate that a flour producer clearly label flours which contain potassium bromate. Some organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest have lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to ban potassium bromate as a food additive in the United States. Many bakeries and flour mills pride themselves on using unbromated flour, and market their products accordingly.

Typically, bromated flour is used in bread production. Adding potassium bromate makes the bread stronger and more elastic, and also promotes big rises of bread. The resulting bread tends to be strong and springy, well suited to commercial production especially. The substance also bleaches the flour slightly, creating the creamy white color which most people associate with flour. It tends to be used in low protein flours more commonly, since these flours do not develop enough gluten on their own.

Consumers who are concerned about using bromated flour can seek out flours which do not contain potassium bromate. When baking bread, a high gluten flour is very useful, and many flour mills formulate products specifically for bread production which will be clearly labeled as “bread flour.” A number of options including whole wheat and white unbleached are available.

/ end of quote
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Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2009, 03:10:05 PM »
I know what flour is being used at about 100 different pizzerias around the us.  Other than those using caputo for neapolitan style pizza (which is not many in the grand scheme of things), pizzerias in California, or Chris Bianco making his NY/Neapolitan hybrid, I only know of 3 pizzerias not using bromated flour. 

« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 10:20:16 PM by scott r »


Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 03:18:03 PM »
so with that said, I guess the theory of somebody eating a slice of pie, and then walking around like it was the 1960s, and being high
is basically not happening.  Nor has anyone fell extremely ill, or died, and I guess you can't overdose if you eat a full pie to yourself,
so perhaps the threat is just overblown. 

I wonder if the major chains like Pizza Hut and Dominos use this type of flour...  hmm.


I know what flour is being used at about 100 different pizzerias around the us.  Other than those using caputo for neapolitan style pizza, which is only about 10 or so pizzerias, or chris bianco making his NY/Neapolitan hybrid, I only know of 3 pizzerias not using bromated flour. 


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Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 03:48:04 PM »
they once did, but no major chain uses it any more.  (I guess I should have mentioned that it was only independently owned pizzerias that I was talking about above).    Remember when bertucci's, Domino's, Pizza hut, etc, had way better pizza.   Well, guess what changed

This should tell you something.   If they are willing to let their product go down hill because of an ingredient that might be bad for you,  it is probably bad for you!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2009, 06:49:37 PM »
Since bromates are a problem in California, it seems to me that the big chains would find it easier to go with nonbromated flours rather than go through the hassles of trying to work around California, as by re-configuring their dough manufacturing facilities that source California with product.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 10:28:22 PM »
Peter, I have recently started buying ingredients from the supplier who stocks Papa Gino's with their raw ingredients.   Yesterday, when I was looking over the shoulder of one of their employees at the list of available flours I saw that Papa Ginos had bought hundreds of bags of Spring King flour from horizon milling.   http://www.progressivebaker.com/products/springking.shtm

This flour is listed as containing bromate.   They have no sign of a non bromated version.   Is it legal for Papa Gino's to list their pizza ingredients on their website without including the bromate?   

I was saddened when I found that they are using this flour, as I have often recommended that friends and family eat their pizza because of the lack of bromate.   

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 10:51:45 PM »
scott,

I read dough formulations and ingredients listings all the time and pay very close attention to these kinds of things and the ingredients lists almost never state whether the flour is bromated. Sometimes you can get the answer if you know the brand of flour and can find the specs for it. I think it is legal just to state "flour" in the ingredients lists (some use "wheat flour" as the description). I don't even think they have to state whether the flour is bleached either, although you will occasionally see bleached flour listed. As you know, bleached flours and bromated flours often go together. In Papa Gino's case, because they are so regional and concentrated in the Northeast, using a bromated flour is not an issue for them.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 10:52:08 PM »
Quote
In theory, the substance is supposed to bake out of bread dough as it cooks, but if a residue remains behind in the bread, it could be harmful in the long term.

I think you'd have to consume numerous loaves per week in order to become sick or develop some sort of long term damage. But that is in regards to bread. I assume the same applies for pizzas but who's eating so much pizza or bread that the effects could be potentially harmful?

Quote
so with that said, I guess the theory of somebody eating a slice of pie, and then walking around like it was the 1960s, and being high
is basically not happening.  Nor has anyone fell extremely ill, or died, and I guess you can't overdose if you eat a full pie to yourself,
so perhaps the threat is just overblown.  


That reminds me of the Tombstone ads on TV.

"And what would you like on your Tombstone?" "Oh, just put down I overdosed on it!"  ;D

But seriously though...I'm wondering what amounts of potassium bromate one would have to consume in order to become seriously ill?
Mike

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Offline pacoast

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009, 11:00:09 PM »
I wouldn't knowingly eat something made with bromated flour, nor use it. It's a group 2B suspected carcinogen & a highly reactive oxidizer. It is known to cause cancer in animals. It has not yet been proven to cause cancer in people. But then cigarettes were not proven to cause cancer for a long time after a reasonable person would have deduced that they were bad for your health.

According to Wikipedia
Quote
Potassium bromate has been banned from use in food products in Europe, as well as the United Kingdom in 1990, and Canada in 1994, and most other countries. It was banned in Sri Lanka in 2001[3] and China in 2005. It is also banned in Nigeria, Brazil and Peru.

In the United States, it has not been banned. The FDA sanctioned the use of bromate before the Delaney clause of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act went into effect in 1958 — which bans carcinogenic substances — so that it is more difficult for it to now be banned. Instead, since 1991 the FDA has urged bakers to voluntarily stop using it. In California a warning label is required when bromated flour is used.

If your pizza is not fully baked, you will probably end up eating residual bromate. And in point of fact, as Tom Lehmann points out is of little benefit for those who are not making frozen dough. Even in that niche application it is helpful, rather than essential. It will eventually go the way of partially hydrogenated (trans) fats. If you want to eat some now, while it's still a legal additive (in the US), that's your choice.

.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 11:15:17 PM by pacoast »

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2009, 08:24:23 AM »
Almost every mom & pop place I have ever checked out uses All Trumps or Pillsbury.  If you ask over on PMQ, a verysmall handful of people are NOT using bromated flour.

My guess is that most consumers do not know what bromated flour is or the potential dangers of it.

Anything that is organic, is of course not bromated also.     
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 08:46:15 AM by pcampbell »
Patrick


Offline norma427

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2009, 09:40:17 AM »
Here is an article from the AIB International on using potassium bromate if anyone is interested in reading it.

https://www.aibonline.org/press/SafeUsePotassiumBromate%2009_08.pdf

Norma
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:42:40 AM by norma427 »
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Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2009, 10:31:27 AM »
I was thinking about this papa ginos thing that scott brought up,  and the way bread products are labeled.  Are they allowed to not include bromate as an ingredient because they are so convinced that none remains in the product after it has been baked? -marc

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2009, 01:20:31 PM »
I was thinking about this papa ginos thing that scott brought up,  and the way bread products are labeled.  Are they allowed to not include bromate as an ingredient because they are so convinced that none remains in the product after it has been baked? -marc

Marc,

That is a very perceptive observation--one that would never have occurred to me. However, I think it would be presumptuous for Papa Gino's to make such a claim since, as scott r noted at Reply 74 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8167.msg71086.html#msg71086 and at Reply 83 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8167.msg71459.html#msg71459, the Papa Gino's pizzas tend to have undercooked or even raw dough and a gumline in their crusts, which could suggest higher levels of bromate in their baked pizzas.  Also, as you can see at the Papa Gino's website at http://www.papaginos.com/nutrition.html?topic=ingredients, the ingredients list given for their "Pizza Shell" comprises "Wheat flour, dry yeast, salt, water ". Clearly, that is not the correct order of ingredients by predominance, by weight. That suggests a level of unsophistication or just carelessness or ignorance on the part of the person who wrote the copy.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 01:23:38 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline 2112

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2009, 12:13:51 PM »
Quote
I'm all for a good pizza, but I'm glad I'm in a country that has the sense to ban such a product.

Anything that has the "potential" of being carcinogenic won't be entering into my ingredient list, even-if it was available.

I'd like to know how many pizzerias out there are actually using bromated flour..... is it legal for a pizza joint to use this type of flour and
not advice clientele ?

Kind of scary if you ask me.


I imagine the list of Pizzerias and Bakeries using bromated flour is greater than we could possibly imagine.

I understand what you are saying but being a 'potential carcinogen' is not the same as 'Being a Carcinogen'!!

Everywhere we turn there are 'real carcinogens' lurking with far greater affects than bromated flour.

Gas fumes that we inhale whilst filling our vehicles at the pump. The gasoline itself and all the combustion byproducts in the air we breathe from the exhaust! Engine oil. Engine antifreeze, not to mention every engine additive out there.

Anyone who smokes, and those who are subject to second hand smoke. Chewing tobacco is another.

Wood stains, polyurethane, Spackle, paints, batteries, asbestos, glue, floor tiles, rubber, weed killers, garden herbicides and the like.

The list is a mile long. What about cooking meats at high heat so that an outside char is obtained.

And last but not least the common household charcoal grill!!!

Do any of us own one of those?

So to sum up, I am by no means saying that we should not care what we put into our bodies.

My friends there are many carcinogens that enter our bodies whether we like it or not. But to put it all into perspective, I do not see how a little bromate in our flour is going to tun the tide and make or break our health.

Best of all, we do have the choice whether to use a flour with bromate or not.

Vince
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 03:10:19 PM by 2112 »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2009, 01:16:34 PM »
Over the weekend, I sent a message to Buddy's Pizza in Detroit via their website in which I inquired whether the flours used to make their pizzas are bromated. Today, I received a reply saying that the flour used to make their regular crust pizza dough is bromated.

Interestingly, the person who sent the reply was not aware of any health issues surrounding the use of bromated flours. So, I responded back and cited some sources for the person to read about bromated flours.

Peter

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2009, 10:30:51 PM »
I agree pretty much with what Vince said. Should it be a concern, yes. Do I use it, yes. But I think there are bigger fish to worry about. A guy probably get more carcinogens grilling meat and sitting around the fire pit drinking beer and smoking a cigar. And what the hell, 2012 is right around the corner, right?? Git 'er done......
Jon  :o
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Offline pacoast

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2009, 10:37:06 PM »
[..] and smoking a cigar.

That's probably an apt comparison. I imagine that the risks from bromated flour would be similar to smoking cigars. Will you get cancer from either? Maybe. Will it take years to find out? Most likely. If a large group of people ingest bromine this way over a long time period, will some of them get cancer. Damn likely.

A lot of us tend to discount "far in the future" risks like this. But they are also easy to prevent, if you are so inclined. Or not. As always, your choice.

.

Offline 2112

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Re: Bromated Flour
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2009, 04:25:49 PM »
PACoast,

I hear what you are saying. When we are in good health it's hard to see the future and ourselves being ill from the affects of our actions today. How much bromated flour products have we consumed over the years? Am I taking a chance using Kryol with bromate? I sure hope not.

I am not trying to turn a deaf ear to facts but we as Americans must be taking one hell of a risk if we are looking the other way when bromated flour could be the big attrition factor to the members on this board.   :-\

I would like to think I will not be stopped in my tracks because of the little bromated flour I use or the products we eat that came from bromated flour. I have never seen bromated flour advertised with regards to the food we eat.
Maybe I just don't look hard enough.

How much bread, off the supermarket shelves, comes from flour that contains bromate?

I am curious if anyone has some answers.

Vince
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