bread cause cancer

Does Your Bread Cause Cancer?? If It Has THIS ingredient, then YES.

There’s an ingredient in many bread, cracker and flour products called potassium bromate, and it has been so closely linked to cancer that the European Union, Canada, Brazil, China and Nigeria (among other countries) banned it YEARS ago. India banned it just last week in June of 2016. It is estimated that 84% of bread products either contain it directly or contain traces of it due to cross-contamination. But the United States still allows its use in baked goods and flours. Why is it so dangerous? And how can you avoid it? And why might an ancient grain called Einkorn be a great alternative?

The Evidence is Overwhelming

Potassium bromate (KBrO3) is known in the industry as a “flour improver” which strengthens dough and permits the bread to rise higher. As an oxidizing agent, it is typically “burned up” during the cooking process, but only if the correct amount has been added and the food product has been cooked long enough. Bread is NOT tested to confirm that all the potassium bromate has been burned off. Potassium bromate is also used in cheese production and beer manufacturing,

As early as 1990, an NIH-funded study published in Environmental Health Perspectives noted that:

KBrO3…is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in both man and experimental animals when given orally. It has been demonstrated that KBrO3 induces renal cell tumors, mesotheliomas of the peritoneum, and follicular cell tumors of the thyroid. In addition, experiments aimed at elucidating the mode of carcinogenic action have revealed that KBrO3 is a complete carcinogen

A very recent and separate study published in May 2016 in the medical journal Behavioral and Brain Function showed a clear and dangerous causal connection between potassium bromate and central nervous system damage, concluding:

[our] results show that KBrO3 has serious damaging effects on the central nervous system and therefore, its use should be avoided….many previous reports have documented that KBrO3 can induce multiple organ toxicity in humans and experimental animals.”

If you’re interested in reading more, please visit here, here and here. The Environmental Working Group includes potassium bromate in its list of Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives–definitely avoid all of them.

What Products & Flours Should You Avoid?

It is important to check all store-bought breads and crackers for the presence of “bromated flour” or potassium bromate. Many commercially produced flours contain bromated flour–please check before you buy as companies change their ingredients all the time. King Arthur flour says it has never contained potassium bromate, but Gold Medal flour sells both a bromated and an unbromated flour, and the latter is harder to find.

At the time of the writing of this article, the following products were known to contain potassium bromate and should be avoided (list obtained from Environmental Working Group. For product images and complete list of foods, please visit their website.) This list is NOT COMPLETE but merely gives you an idea of where to start.


List of Major Food Products Containing Potassium Bromate

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Amon’s Kosher Deep Dish Pizza

Canadian Home Style Pizza Cheesy Veggie

Canadian Home Style Pizza Fluffy & Cripsy

Caribbean Food Delights Mild Beef Patties

Chopsie’s Pizza Rolls

Dockside Classic Crab & Cheese Bites

Dockside Classics Crab Cakes

Dockside Classics Lobster Cakes

Fresh Daily Nutmeg Bread

Fresh Daily Round Spice Bun

Golden Krust Fresh Traditional Style Whole

Golden Krust Hard Dough Bread

Golden Krust Jamaican Style Chicken Patties

Golden Krust Spice Bun

Hormel Bacon Egg & Cheese in Deli Bagel

Hormel Black Label Breakfast Sandwiches

Imperial Garden Pork Egg Rolls

J.T.M Chicken Philly Cheese Steak Kit 4 Complete Sandwiches

J.T.M Meatball Sub Kit

J2 Broadway’s Gourmet Pizza

La Bayamesa Corn Muffins

La Bayamesa Pineapple Filled Pastry

La Fe Chicken Croquettes

La Fe Tropical Crackers

La Gustosa Tortelli With Cheese

La Rosa’s Hoagy Rolls

La rosa’s Meatballs

Lemon Spicy Sticks

Longo’s Pizza Crusts

Longo’s Sicilian Pizza Crust

Lucca’s Italian Rolls

Mary’s Bakery Guava Bread

Mary’s Bakery Sweet Bread

Minardi Round Bread

Minardi’s French Mini Bread

Murry’s French Toast Bites Cinnamon Blast

New York Flatbread Everything

New York Flatbread Sesame

New York Flatbreads Garlic

Pierino Jumbo Shells With Cheese

Pierino Manicotti With Cheese

Racine Bakery Pumpernickel

Racine Bakery Sunflower Rye Bread

Scotto’s Gourmet Cookies

Sibstar Bread Farmers

Sibstar Bread White Wheat

Stern’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Terranova Bakery Pane Di Casa

Terranova Bakery Plain Friselle

Terranova Bakery Wheat Bread

The Bakery Bacon Mini Pastries Kolacky Cream Cheese

Tony Luke’s Chicken Cheesesteak

Tony Luke’s Roast Pork Sandwiches

Tudor Bakery Biscotti Almond

We Are The Finest! Odessa White Bread

Weis Enriched Rolls Kaiser

Weis French Toast Bites Cinnamon

Wheat Bran Bread

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What are the Alternatives? Einkorn might work!

The following contain some affiliate links, which means I make a few cents if you click the link and buy the products. It do (1)Eat Clean $30.00 Off

Personally, I don’t tolerate gluten well (and recommend everyone reduce their consumption of  it due to its inflammatory ability). However, I can consume something called Einkorn flour in small amounts. Einkorn is an ancient grain which does not seem to exacerbate inflammation in my body or cause stomach cramping as regular wheat tends to.  Others who are gluten-sensitive have reported that they can consume modest amounts of Einkorn safely (note: celiacs cannot consume gluten in any form, so if you suspect you are celiac, please visit a physician).

Einkorn is a strain of wheat that has fewer chromosomes in it than modern wheat, and is considered a ‘heritage’ grain–unhybridized and therefore containing much lower levels of gluten than regular wheat. According to

Einkorn has an entirely different genetic makeup than modern wheat.  Modern wheats have been hybridized through years and years and millions and millions of $$$ in research.  The goal of hybridization has been to increase yields, fight against plant disease, pests, weather conditions, etc. and many are starting to wonder if this long history of hybridization is the explanation for the rising number of people with a high intolerance to gluten.

If you enjoy making your own bread, as I do, it might be worth trying Einkorn flour. If you are a member of Young Living, they have a fantastic Einkorn flour, as well as a few Einkorn products, that are definitely worth a look. Einkorn can be used 1:1 in recipes just like regular flour.

I have a great little bread machine that I got for a steal, so if you’re thinking “I can’t make my own bread”–you’re wrong 😉

Post Author: Hillary

5 thoughts on “Does Your Bread Cause Cancer?? If It Has THIS ingredient, then YES.

    Alec Terry

    (July 3, 2016 - 12:43 am)

    Hillary thank you very much for posting this as it has really opened my eyes to what is present in bread and other wheat products. This is just another example of the food industry trying to artificially make things “better” while not fully considering the costs to the health and wellness of their customers.

    Keep up the great work! I’ve book marked your site and can’t wait to read more.


      (July 3, 2016 - 1:44 pm)

      Thanks Alec for visiting and commenting!


    (July 3, 2016 - 12:49 am)

    Not knowing the effects of Potassium Bromate to our body is quite scary. This is a useful information that we, the consumers should know before we buy bread. It’s better to buy organic bread or as what you said to make your own bread at least you know the ingredients that you have put on it. Thank you for this useful information about Potassium Bromate.


    (August 9, 2016 - 1:39 am)

    Thanks for your post. I had never heard of Potassium Bromate before and so I checked it out on Wikipedia. I think sometimes we are our own worst enemy because we want our food to not only taste great but to look great as well. Is it a chemical? Our food is tampered with far too much and most of the time it is to improve how it looks. Do you think we should all be reading labels more and learning more about the ingredients listed instead of buying blindly?


      (August 9, 2016 - 1:41 am)

      Yep, reading labels is critical. The problem is that many corporations use new words to describe ingredients so that we don’t recognize them. Your best bet is to stay away from processed food whenever possible! Have a great day, and thanks for visiting.

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