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Author Topic: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?  (Read 1040 times)

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Online 9slicePie

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Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« on: May 21, 2021, 05:55:11 PM »
I did a cursory search on google and wikipedia says, "Potassium bromate is classified as a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)."

"possibly"

What's the forum's views on consuming bromated flours/doughs?

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2021, 06:01:52 PM »
I'm an organic ingredients person when possible. That avoids the issue of bromate and other non essential ingredients.

Offline mathematics28

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2021, 06:56:41 PM »
I did a cursory search on google and wikipedia says, "Potassium bromate is classified as a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)."

"possibly"

What's the forum's views on consuming bromated flours/doughs?
And thatís before it changes to a compound thatís not longer a carcinogen after baking

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2021, 07:03:15 PM »
I did a cursory search on google and wikipedia says, "Potassium bromate is classified as a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)."

"possibly"

What's the forum's views on consuming bromated flours/doughs?
9slicePie,

The issue you raise comes up from time to time. For background purposes, you might find these posts of interest:

Reply 39 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3399.msg28979#msg28979, and

Reply 4 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38065.msg403593;topicseen#msg403593

One of the posts is directed to an AIB article on the subject of bromates. The AIB (American Institute of Baking) is where Tom Lehmann worked for 50 years, the longest tenured employee in the history of that organization. So, he had to be well aware of the issue of bromates in flours and pizza making.

You might also look at the entry for Potassium Bromate in the forum's Pizza Glossary at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/glossary.html#index_p

There is no formal forum position on bromates but bromated flours are common. For example, in NYC it is commonly said that the most common flour used by pizzerias there is the General Mills All Trumps flour, which is a bleached and bromated flour. There is also an unbleached, unbromated version but it is not known whether that version is used or how often.

Peter

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2021, 07:04:07 PM »
If you do an Advanced Search on this forum for bromated flour, you will find 100s of posts on this!
Jon

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Online wb54885

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2021, 07:04:59 PM »
Views here have been strongly held on both sides for years. Many people claim that at the minuscule levels at which bromate is today allowed to be present in flour, thereís more risk of exposure to carcinogens from walking down a city street, having a cup of coffee, or doing your taxes (maybe I made that one up). Also, assuming a bromated dough is thoroughly cooked, the bromate should be rendered harmless anyhow.

Thatís one sideóthe other side says that bromate is potentially harmful and unnecessary and should be avoided. I encourage you to google ďbromate pizzamaking.comĒ to find the actual threads. Lots and lots of interesting stuff.

Hereís an especially great perspective on bromate from the late Tom Lehmann from a few years back:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=44186.0

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2021, 07:59:16 PM »

Online 9slicePie

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 10:28:08 AM »
Thanks, everyone.

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 01:52:00 PM »
For my part, I avoid bleached flours at this point, as I don't think there's any good reason whatsoever why it's necessary to bleach flour, and flours that are bromated also happen to be bleached almost 100% of the time. So I effectively don't ever use bromated flour, and I highly doubt I'm missing out on anything for doing so. If I found a flour that was bromated and not bleached, I might be tempted to give it a try, but probably not. I used to use Gold Medal flour years ago (briefly), which is bleached and bromated, but have long since moved on, and I think I'm making my best pizza crusts ever these days. I guess it's not so much of a health concern for me on the bromate. I'm just not convinced that there's any benefit to be had with it. And technically, pretty much any sort of char on pizza crust is a form of carcinogen anyway, so there's that, too.
If we're not questioning the reason for our existence, then what the hell are we doing here?!

Offline mathematics28

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 02:20:19 PM »
For my part, I avoid bleached flours at this point, as I don't think there's any good reason whatsoever why it's necessary to bleach flour, and flours that are bromated also happen to be bleached almost 100% of the time. So I effectively don't ever use bromated flour, and I highly doubt I'm missing out on anything for doing so. If I found a flour that was bromated and not bleached, I might be tempted to give it a try, but probably not. I used to use Gold Medal flour years ago (briefly), which is bleached and bromated, but have long since moved on, and I think I'm making my best pizza crusts ever these days. I guess it's not so much of a health concern for me on the bromate. I'm just not convinced that there's any benefit to be had with it. And technically, pretty much any sort of char on pizza crust is a form of carcinogen anyway, so there's that, too.
General Mills 50143 50lb bag of all trumps enriched and malted. Not bleached or bromated.

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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 10:08:21 PM »
General Mills 50143 50lb bag of all trumps enriched and malted. Not bleached or bromated.
Right, it's not bromated either, though. I think I might have seen that somewhere before. I don't think I have a source for it anyway.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 10:10:03 PM by RHawthorne »
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Online 9slicePie

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2021, 11:04:13 AM »
OK, so I read through the links posts in this thread.

Overall, what I ultimately understand is the following (and please correct any errors and make any necessary additions):

1-Bromate is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

2-The bromate is converted to bromide (which is said to be harmless) during the bake.  (Question:  what if you're baking a pizza and then get a gumline?  I read that that means the dough didn't bake/cook completely, and thereby leaves behind bromate).  But then see 1st half of point 3 below.

3-The amount of bromate is very miniscule to even be concerned about it's potential harm, and again, it should be converted to a harmless bromide during the bake anyway.

4-We should be more concerned about the quality of the air and drinking water than be concerned about the miniscule bromate levels in flour.

5-The late Tom Lehmann said not to worry about bromate levels in the flour.

6-Just to bring up a point someone posted in one of the above links: they said something like "bromate should still be avoided anyway as its sum effects will add-up" or something to that effect.  But couldn't that then be said for a MYRIAD of potentially harmful things?

7-Does this mean I should not eat from pizzerias (most of which likely use bromated flour)?


Can you guys please chime in on the above points (particularly, point 6) and provide me with some "relieving" [but realistic/accurate] closure?

I don't wanna worry/feel guilty from ordering pizza from local pizza places.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 11:28:03 AM by 9slicePie »

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2021, 01:40:56 PM »
OK, so I read through the links posts in this thread.

Overall, what I ultimately understand is the following (and please correct any errors and make any necessary additions):

1-Bromate is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

2-The bromate is converted to bromide (which is said to be harmless) during the bake.  (Question:  what if you're baking a pizza and then get a gumline?  I read that that means the dough didn't bake/cook completely, and thereby leaves behind bromate).  But then see 1st half of point 3 below.

3-The amount of bromate is very miniscule to even be concerned about it's potential harm, and again, it should be converted to a harmless bromide during the bake anyway.

4-We should be more concerned about the quality of the air and drinking water than be concerned about the miniscule bromate levels in flour.

5-The late Tom Lehmann said not to worry about bromate levels in the flour.

6-Just to bring up a point someone posted in one of the above links: they said something like "bromate should still be avoided anyway as its sum effects will add-up" or something to that effect.  But couldn't that then be said for a MYRIAD of potentially harmful things?

7-Does this mean I should not eat from pizzerias (most of which likely use bromated flour)?


Can you guys please chime in on the above points (particularly, point 6) and provide me with some "relieving" [but realistic/accurate] closure?

I don't wanna worry/feel guilty from ordering pizza from local pizza places.
I fall in the don't worry too much about it camp.

All Trumps is used by a lot of pizza shops.  All Trumps has 12-16 parts per million of bromate in it. For comparison, foods with less than 20 ppm of gluten can be labeled gluten free. Another way of looking at it is by the maximum allowed amount of bromate. That is 75 milligrams per kg. So a 50 pound sack of flour (can have at most about 1.75 grams of bromate in it. Not a lot, considering you aren't eating the whole bag of flour and the impact of cooking.

You can argue char on a pizza is bad for you, maybe the toppings are bad for you, maybe the cheese, could be high salt....I guess I'm saying there is a lot that could be bad for you. So I don't go out of my way to avoid bromated flour, but I don't seek it out either. I had been using a bleached and bromated flour but 50 bags of unbromated bread flour became available to me so I've been unbromated and haven't really noticed much difference. It has come up before but I agree that the pizza maker is more important than the flour. Not that flour doesn't matter, but the experience and skill of the pizza maker will have a larger impact on the finished pizza than the flour.

Offline Elchimi

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2021, 07:57:36 PM »
If you can get it Unbromated probably better than bromated. I donít think you need bromate in your flour

Offline Anton1

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2021, 10:58:40 AM »
OK, so I read through the links posts in this thread.

Overall, what I ultimately understand is the following (and please correct any errors and make any necessary additions):

1-Bromate is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

2-The bromate is converted to bromide (which is said to be harmless) during the bake.  (Question:  what if you're baking a pizza and then get a gumline?  I read that that means the dough didn't bake/cook completely, and thereby leaves behind bromate).  But then see 1st half of point 3 below.

3-The amount of bromate is very miniscule to even be concerned about it's potential harm, and again, it should be converted to a harmless bromide during the bake anyway.

4-We should be more concerned about the quality of the air and drinking water than be concerned about the miniscule bromate levels in flour.

5-The late Tom Lehmann said not to worry about bromate levels in the flour.

6-Just to bring up a point someone posted in one of the above links: they said something like "bromate should still be avoided anyway as its sum effects will add-up" or something to that effect.  But couldn't that then be said for a MYRIAD of potentially harmful things?

7-Does this mean I should not eat from pizzerias (most of which likely use bromated flour)?


Can you guys please chime in on the above points (particularly, point 6) and provide me with some "relieving" [but realistic/accurate] closure?

I don't wanna worry/feel guilty from ordering pizza from local pizza places.

Read this and draw your own conclusion: https://file.scirp.org/pdf/AJAC_2016060914340635.pdf
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Online 9slicePie

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2021, 01:28:19 PM »
Read this and draw your own conclusion: https://file.scirp.org/pdf/AJAC_2016060914340635.pdf
Thanks.  I actually came to a conclusion after reading more of the responses here and googling some more.   And ultimately, Iíve decided to use these bromated flours.

I looked at the link you posted; I may not be as smart as some of yaíll here, so if anyone who read that article, can you please summarize in 1-2 sentences? (Just for my curiosity)

Offline markpenacho

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2021, 06:40:56 PM »
I almost always err on the side of caution. I wear a seatbelt. I lock my car and house, I get my animals fixed, and Iím nice to my mother-in-law. Iíd never used bromated flour until I saw 25 lb. bags at RD, and thought ďIíd like to try thatĒ. After reading everything I could about bromate, I bought some with no regrets whatsoever. And Iíll probably buy some again.

Offline mathematics28

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2021, 06:41:36 PM »
I almost always err on the side of caution. I wear a seatbelt. I lock my car and house, I get my animals fixed, and Iím nice to my mother-in-law. Iíd never used bromated flour until I saw 25 lb. bags at RD, and thought ďIíd like to try thatĒ. After reading everything I could about bromate, I bought some with no regrets whatsoever. And Iíll probably buy some again.
Welcome to the dark side :)

Offline mathematics28

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2021, 06:42:25 PM »
Thanks.  I actually came to a conclusion after reading more of the responses here and googling some more.   And ultimately, Iíve decided to use these bromated flours.

I looked at the link you posted; I may not be as smart as some of yaíll here, so if anyone who read that article, can you please summarize in 1-2 sentences? (Just for my curiosity)
Youíre more likely to get stroke by lightning while buying a winning lottery ticket than to be harmed by bromated flour.

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Flours with Bromate: linked to cancer?
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2021, 09:07:53 PM »
Thanks.  I actually came to a conclusion after reading more of the responses here and googling some more.   And ultimately, Iíve decided to use these bromated flours.

I looked at the link you posted; I may not be as smart as some of yaíll here, so if anyone who read that article, can you please summarize in 1-2 sentences? (Just for my curiosity)
Last sentence:

Potassium bromate in bakeries might be allowed at a certain ratio and up to 2 g per bag (60 Kg).

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