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Enter Main - TURAN.AZ AZ ... RU

Azerbaijanis Sold Bread from Fodder Grain

2017 July 29 ( Saturday )  11:30:06
Print version
Русский Azərbaycan

A few days ago, Turan reported a sensational statement by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), on acryl amide found in baked bread, fried potatoes and coffee, presumably causing digestive organs cancer. The European Union intends to discourage Europeans from consuming these foods.

Meanwhile, Turan IA back in the distant 2004 and subsequent years reported on the pernicious impact of bread baked in Azerbaijan on people. Over the years, the danger has not diminished. The interview with the Director of the information agency Turan Mehman Aliyev is about this.

- What was the reason for your research conducted 13 years ago?

- After the collapse of the USSR, when the control over food standards was lost, the Azerbaijanis did not know what bread they ate. However, people began to notice that the bread bought by them became hard, sticky and odorous the next day. It was said the grain of wheat from which bread was baked was infected with potato disease. At the same time, Azerbaijan reported on the production of 2 million tons of its own grain used for the production of bread. But after the Grain Fund was established in 2008, it turned out that our farmers were able to sell to the state only a couple of thousand tons of grain of Grade 3 suitable for baking bread. Grain was mainly purchased and continues to be purchased in Russia and a little in Kazakhstan. Several hundred thousand tons of Grade 3 grain from Kazakhstan was used in the production of pasta and other similar foods, although it is necessary to use first-class grain for pasta. The state deceived the people again here. The supplied Russian grain was mainly fodder grain Grade 4-5 (fodder grain is used for feeding cattle). With a standard gluten level of at least 23%, in fact, bread was 17% or less. This grain was cheaper than Grade 3, so it was used in independent Azerbaijan, hiding the truth from the public. In the USSR, only grain of Grade 3 was used for bread, and it was allowed to mix not more than 15% of Grade 4 grain. Deceivers were severely punished - up to the execution.

We found out that 100% of the grain used for bread was forage grain. Thanks to Russian partners, we learned what kind of grain, at what price and of what quality was imported from Russia, while Azerbaijani grain almost did not exist! From such a grain bread cannot be baked, since the dough does not rise, and then our people decided to mix a powdered chemical Unofer, first Turkish and then cheaper Chinese, diluted with water. Other chemicals were also added to raise the dough. But it was sick bread, quickly deteriorating and dangerous for health.

There are reasons to believe that this same technology is being used now. As you know, the world price of grain is constantly rising. And the price of a loaf of bread in Azerbaijan is almost unchanged. A 0.5 kilogram loaf of bread, which looks like a kilogram loaf of Soviet bread, is sold at 40 gapiks. The external similarity of the "light" bread with the "heavy" bread is achieved by blowing the dough provided by chemicals added at the plant.

It turns out that the dangerous substances are added at the mill, and then in the bakery. And we also eat flour from forage grain. The Russians were surprised: how many cattle is there in Azerbaijan that the country buys so much forage grain?

In 2012, with all these machinations in Azerbaijan, they wanted to increase the cost of bread, and we then raised the issue of quality and price of bread, noting that raising its cost is unjustified. Then the State Committee for Standardization held a meeting with the invitation of suppliers of grain and producers of flour and bread, and a standard was developed for this product. The price of bread was not raised.

After that, the quality of the main food product improved, the use of third-grade grain began, and everyone saw that the bread was stored for several days usable. But the grain market is monopolized by the Ministry of Emergencies, which imports about 700 thousand tons of grain supposedly for the state reserve - the State Grain Fund (SGF), although we do not even have storage facilities for such a volume, and there is no need for that. Everything is done opaque, we do not have a grain exchange, on which free suppliers would be offered, and the mills could purchase the best goods. When creating SGF, its volume was determined at 200 thousand tons, so why another 500 thousand? Because the grain for the Ministry of Emergency Situations is imported to Azerbaijan without the use of taxes and goes to the flour mill created by the family of the Minister of Emergency Situations Kamaladdin Heydarov. Their companies also bake bread. Therefore, they are beyond competition.

When SGF was created, the government turned to farmers with an offer to purchase third-grade grain from them, at a good price. The state managed to buy only one thousand tons of such grain. No more was found. This means that Azerbaijan does not produce more than this volume of Grade 3 wheat. Here is the proof of the preservation of the previous corruption scheme for the production of bread.

- Does the State Committee for Standardization not control the quality of baked bread?

- In the corrupted environment of Azerbaijan, few people control anything. The quality of bread has improved, but problems remain. In Europe, only natural supplements and yeast are used, while in Azerbaijan they continue to use chemical additives. Azerbaijan consumes 900 thousand tons of bread and flour products per year. However, it is not a secret that the population of Azerbaijan has decreased due to emigration. Independent research shows that since the beginning of the 1990s, 2.5-3.5 million people have left the republic. And if the country really has 7 million people, then the demand should not be more than 900 thousand tons of grain. Therefore, it is necessary to import not 1.3 million, but 900 thousand tons of grain. Why, then, is 1 million 300 thousand tons of wheat purchased? Therefore, we believe that Azerbaijan is engaged in re-export of grain and flour. In Russia, they also think so. This is a big problem.

- You talked about the major producers of bread. But, as is known, in the country there are many private small bakeries built even in urban courtyards. Do they also add chemicals?

- As I said, the market of grain and flour and bread production in Azerbaijan is monopolized by the Ministry for Emergency Situations and several players. In large enterprises chemicals are added unequivocally. What is added in the bakeries we do not know, but it is clear that yeast and other substances, the names of which are not known to us, are added when baking bread. There is no transparency. Some manufacturers refuse to add dangerous additives to the product, but the vast majority is forced to resort to black schemes. Control over this market is very weak and incomprehensible. In any case, doctors are sounding alarm, reporting an increase in the disease incidence of digestive organs in Azerbaijan. I personally have not eaten bread for fifteen years.