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Potassium bromate not allowed as additive in packaged water: FSSAI

29,May, 2016

It is not an additive but a contaminant in water.

Potassium bromate is not allowed as an additive in packaged drinking water but its permissible limit as contaminant has been fixed because its traces are found in groundwater or when water undergoes treatment, FSSAI has said.

Potassium bromate, which is carcinogenic in nature and causes cancer, was in news over its alleged presence in bread. After that, the FSSAI said it has decided to remove bromate from the list of additives. Bromate is not inherent component of water but traces of bromate can be found in drinking water when the water undergoes treatment.

It is also found in groundwater due to cross penetration of salt water when water source is close to sea or industrial effluents facilities. As it is found in the source of water, its limit as contaminant has been fixed.

"Thus in water, bromate is not an additive but a contaminant," Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said in a statement. Current standards of water being developed by FSSAI recognise that this contaminant may be found in water…and prescribes its limit at 0.01 ppm or 10 ppb significantly lower than the permissible limit in bread which is at 50ppm, FSSAI added.

The maximum limit suggested by the scientific panel is at par with global standards of WHO which is also 10ppb, the food safety regulator said. The proposed regulation of FSSAI is in line with the best international practice and intended to control the presence of this contaminant to a safe level.

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