Potassium Bromate (E924): Unveiling Common Names and Health Impact

Potassium Bromate (E924)

Potassium Bromate (E924): Unveiling Common Names and Health Impact

Potassium Bromate, denoted as E924, has become a topic of concern in the world of food additives.

This article delves into the intricacies of this compound, exploring its nature, common aliases on food labels, its potential health impact, and practical tips on how to steer clear of it.

This article is part of the series of articles called “Banned Food Additives Around the World” and also makes part of the #LabelWise campaign that wants to rise awareness on Food Additives impact on health!

What is Potassium Bromate (E924)?

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Potassium Bromate is a chemical compound, E924 in the European food additive numbering system. It is often used as a flour improver in the baking industry to strengthen dough, enhance volume, and create a desirable texture in bread and other baked goods.

Common Names Used on Food Labels:

While Potassium Bromate might be listed by its official E number, it also goes by other names on food labels. Keep an eye out for alternative designations such as “Bromated Flour,” “Enzyme-Modified Flour,” or “Bromic Acid,” as these may indicate the presence of Potassium Bromate in the product.

Health Impact of Potassium Bromate (E924)

Potassium Bromate, although effective in enhancing the texture of baked goods, has raised significant health concerns that warrant careful consideration. Its potential impact on human health has been studied extensively, revealing a range of issues associated with its consumption.

  1. Carcinogenic Potential: Perhaps the most alarming concern associated with Potassium Bromate is its classification as a possible human carcinogen. Studies on laboratory animals have shown an increased incidence of tumors, particularly in the thyroid and kidney, raising red flags about its safety for human consumption.
  2. Thyroid Disruption: Potassium Bromate’s connection to thyroid dysfunction is another worrisome aspect. The compound can interfere with thyroid hormone production, potentially leading to imbalances that affect metabolism and overall endocrine health.
  3. Banned in Several Countries: Recognizing the potential risks, numerous countries around the world have taken proactive measures to protect their citizens. Potassium Bromate has been banned or its use restricted in several nations, reflecting a global acknowledgment of its potential harm. Countries that have banned or restricted the use of Potassium Bromate include:
    • United Kingdom: Banned since 1990.
    • Canada: Banned since 1994.
    • European Union: Banned since 1990.
    • Brazil: Banned since 2001.
    • Nigeria: Banned since 2003.
    • Peru: Banned since 2010.
    • Sri Lanka: Banned since 2001.
    • China: Banned since 2005.
    • Australia and New Zealand: Banned since 1990.
    This global consensus on the potential dangers of Potassium Bromate reinforces the need for scrutiny and caution regarding its usage in food production.
  4. Residual Presence in Baked Goods: Despite the bans and restrictions in various countries, it’s crucial to note that in some places, Potassium Bromate may still be legally used in specific quantities. This residual presence emphasizes the importance of consumer awareness and vigilance in choosing food products.

In the United States, the use of Potassium Bromate (E924) in food production has been a subject of debate and regulatory scrutiny. While it is not outright banned, its usage is highly restricted due to the acknowledged potential health risks associated with its consumption. Many states and manufacturers have shifted towards alternative flour treatment methods, such as the use of ascorbic acid or enzymes, to ensure baked goods meet safety standards without relying on Potassium Bromate. It’s essential for consumers to be vigilant, read labels, and choose products explicitly labeled as bromate-free to make informed and health-conscious choices in the US market.

How to Avoid It:

  1. Read Ingredient Lists: Scrutinize ingredient lists, especially in baked goods, to identify the presence of Potassium Bromate or any of its alternative names.
  2. Choose Unbromated Flour: Opt for products labeled as “unbromated flour” or those explicitly stating that they do not contain Potassium Bromate.
  3. Purchase Artisanal or Organic Breads: Artisanal and organic bread producers typically refrain from using Potassium Bromate. Explore options from local bakeries or those adhering to organic practices.
  4. Homemade Baking: Take control of your baked goods by preparing them at home. When baking, choose recipes that use alternative flour treatment methods, ensuring a bromate-free outcome.
  5. Stay Informed: Stay informed about food regulations and additive policies in your region. This knowledge empowers you to make conscious and health-centric food choices. Check out our #LabelWise Campaign for more info!


As consumers, understanding the presence and potential risks associated with additives like Potassium Bromate is essential for making informed dietary choices. By decoding common names on labels, being aware of health impacts, and adopting strategies to avoid it, you can navigate the grocery aisles with confidence, prioritizing your well-being and the health of your loved ones.

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