Potassium bromate is typically used as a flour improver (E number E924), strengthening the dough and allowing higher rising. It is an oxidizing agent, and under the right conditions, will be completely used up in the baking bread. However, if too much is added, or if the bread is not baked long enough or not at a high enough temperature, then a residual amount will remain, which may be harmful if consumed. Potassium bromate might also be used in the production of malt barley where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prescribed certain conditions where it may be used safely, which includes labeling standards for the finished malt barley product. It is a very powerful oxidizer (E° = 1.5 volts comparable to potassium permanganate).
The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures. Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer. Use of potassium bromate is banned in Canada, China and the EU.
It’s plain by now that our US government doesn’t give a damn about our individual health. More, they are pawns of agribusiness that is interested in profits, pure and simple.