Chlorine and chlorine compounds are used in the food industry as disinfectants. Chlorination of cake flour is also common due to its alteration of protein structure within the flour, leading to improved cake quality.
Chlorine destroys the majority of Vitamin E when used to treat wheat flour. Animal studies in which very high levels of cake flour were consumed led to changes in lactation in female rats and fur texture in male rats, as well as changes to body fat composition, and liver, heart, and kidney weight. It is associated with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Typically 98-99.8% of chlorine dissipates during the process of chlorinating cake flour. Unbleached flour is available.
Flour, foods containing flour, fruits and vegetables
Wiley Online Library
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health