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China bans two bleaching agents used maily in flour

Chinese authorities have banned the production of two food additives commonly used to bleach flour in response to consumer demand for natural foods and reduced reliance on chemical modifiers, according to a report carried in

The report by Xinhua news said the Ministry of Mealth decreed that benzoyl peroxide (BPO) and calcium peroxide are no longer required for incorporation into flour given the fact the country's processing techniques and wheat planting had improved.

Flour is mostly used to make noodles, dumplings and steamed buns in China, especially in the north.

Manufacturers are no longer allowed to produce the two food agents or use them in flour production beginning May 1, 2011. However, flour and related products containing the additives are allowed to be sold until the shelf life of such products expires.

The move follows a public consultation on the use of such additives in foods, with calls for BPO to be outlawed in the wake of the 2008 melamine contamination incidents.

Approval for the use of BPO in flour production was given in 1986. Under current Chinese food additive regulations, the maximum volume of the additive which can be used in one kilogram of flour is 0.06 grams. More at