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Sasko to phase out toxic ingredient

Sasko is accused of endangering people’s lives by using an ingredient used to make yoga mats.

FILE IMAGE. The bread maker says it’ll no longer use the harmful chemical after the DA accused it of endangering people’s lives. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A potentially harmful ingredient in bread will gradually be phased out by June.

Bread manufacturer Sasko says it will not use the toxic chemical which is commonly known as 'yoga mat' in its bread after the Democratic Alliance (DA) accused the company of putting people's lives at risk.

'Yoga mat' contains the additive azodicarbonamide (ADA), which is banned in some countries.

The DA has accused the bread company of not disclosing that it uses the chemical, which is also used to make yoga mats and plastic and rubber shoes more pliable.

Sasko uses it to make bread whiter, softer and to improve shelf life.

The DA's Athol Trollip says although ADA is permitted to be used in concentrations of less than 45 parts per million, it is still potentially harmful.

"What strikes me about that is if Sasko is undertaking to withdraw the use of the product, it is an admission that the use of the product can be potentially harmful. Also, if the use of the product is not disclosed on the labels, how will consumers ever know whether Sasko has in fact stopped using it?"