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Oxidizing Agent. A chemical, also referred to as oxidant, that causes the oxidation (q.v.) of an element or compound. Oxidants approved by the FDA (q.v.) for use in baking at prescribed maximum amounts include potassium and calcium bromate (q.v.), potassium and calcium iodate (q.v.), calcium peroxide (q.v.), ascorbic acid (q.v.), and azodicarbonamide (q.v.). They all vary in their rates of reaction and their critical levels of use.