Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 20:
Unsuspecting consumers in Odisha may well have opened themselves up to a host of health hazards by eating up bread laced with the deadly ammonia. But bakery owners who certainly know the risks involved could not care less.
The use of ammonia powder in bakery products like bread could lead to skin diseases, cancer and affect the immunity, doctors say.
“It is absolutely wrong to use ammonia powder in food materials. It generates nitrogen gas inside the body which leads to skin diseases. At times, it can also lead to intermittent passing out of the patient,” said Gastroenterologist Dr. Debanand Patra.
In the absence of strict quality control guidelines by the government, most of the bakery owners use dangerous levels of ammonia while making products such as breads, biscuits etc.
While the companies used to use ‘yeast powder’ to enhance the preservability and taste of bakery products earlier, now they have turned to ammonia as an alternative even though it can cause potential health hazards.
“The times have changed. We don’t use yeast powder any longer. People demand food items that taste better and we have to make products that can last longer. That’s why we add ammonia powder to make these products,” said a technician of a bakery factory.