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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Food Additives Safety

12:57 AM
Food additives are substances intentionally added to food products. Food additives are used for a variety of reasons: to make food look more appealing to consumers; to maintain freshness; to make food safer or more nutritious; or to ease food manufacture or processing. Unintentional (incidental) food additives are inadvertently present in foods. They have no planned function in food, but become incorporated during processing, packaging, or storing. There are nearly 3,000 intentional additives. Many are derived directly from foods, like lecithin, a lipid related to fat. Certain additives are needed to prevent spoilage and to maintain freshness of foods that must be distributed to consumers far from the point of manufacture or origin. Paradoxically, scientists' ability to detect food additives in foods, whether intentional or incidental, exceeds their ability to interpret the results in terms of human health.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (1938) is the basic food law; it gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the responsibility for the safety of foods. Three amendments strengthened this act in 1954. The Miller Pesticide Act provided for establishing safe tolerances for pesticides in raw agricultural products. The Food Additives Amendment of 1958 required premarketing clearance by the FDA for food additives. It includes the Delaney Clause, which made it illegal to add cancer-causing chemicals to foods. The Color Additive Amendment (1960) regulated the certification of food colors. The FDA legally classified substances added to food into four categories: food additives, generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substances, prior sanctioned items, and food colors. Hundreds of food additives were classified as GRAS in 1958, based on common experience and apparent safety record. These include sugar, salt, spices, vitamins, minerals, milk, and egg protein. The GRAS list is periodically updated as new safety data are available. Thus cyclamate, sulfites, several food colors and saccharin were removed when their safety was found wanting. Prior sanctioned additives are those agreed on before 1958. Nitrite used as a preservative for processed meat is an example. That a food is prior-sanctioned or that it is on the GRAS list does not assure safety; it must be evaluated in light of more current knowledge and more advanced technology.

Excluding salt, sweeteners, and sugar, the average yearly U.S. consumption of food additives like flavors, preservatives, and colors is 5 to 10 pounds per person. Food additives are used extensively by the food industry to help create a huge variety of processed foods. These manufactured foods tend to have a high level of fat and oil, salt, sugar, preservatives, and artificial coloring, and lower levels of several important nutrients.

Common functions of food additives:
  • anticaking agents are added to powdered or crystalline products to prevent lumping, e.g., silicon dioxide, cornstarch, calcium silicate. 
  • Antimicrobial agents preserve foods by preventing growth of bacteria, molds, and yeasts, e.g., calcium propionate, sodium benzoate. 
  • antioxidants retard deterioration or rancidity and discoloration due to oxidation, e.g., vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, BHA, BHT, propyl gallate. 
  • Curing and pickling agents provide characteristic flavors and increase shelf life, e.g., sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite. 
  • Emulsifiers establish a uniform dispersion, e.g., lecithin, carrageenan. 
  • Enzymes can improve food processing, e.g., glucose oxidase, meat tenderizers. 
  • flavor enhancers increase original taste without imparting their own flavors, e.g., disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein. 
  • Flavorings impart a taste or aroma to food, e.g., sodium chloride, sucrose, and many artificial flavoring agents. 
  • Flour treatment agents are bleaching and maturing agents added to flour, e.g., benzoyl peroxide, azodicarbonamide. 
  • Food colors or color adjuncts are used to enhance a color or impart a color to a food, e.g., canthaxanthin, caramel, FD&C colors (Blue No. 1, Red No. 3, Yellow No. 5, and others), grape skin extract. Certain chemicals can stabilize or fix a food color. 
  • humectants absorb water and help keep foods moist, e.g., invert sugar, dextrose, glycerin (glycerol). 
  • leavening agents produce carbon dioxide in baked goods, e.g., sodium bicarbonate, yeast. 
  • artificial sweeteners have less than 2 percent of the caloric value of sucrose (table sugar) when used at the same level of sweetness. They include saccharin and aspartame. 
  • Nutrient additives like iron, thiamine, and riboflavin enrich white flour and partially replace some of the nutrients lost in preparing bleached flour. Iodide (the chemical form of iodine) is used to fortify salt. 
  • Nutritive sweeteners include sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. 
  • Many pH control agents change or maintain the acidity or alkalinity of a food. These include acids, bases, and buffers like dihydrogen phosphate, acetic acid, phosphoric acid, and citric acid. 
  • Processing aids include clarifying agents, clouding agents, and crystallization inhibitors. Filter aids are used to clarify beer, for example. 
  • Propellants are used to expel a product. Carbon dioxide and other gases have replaced chlorofluorocarbons in foams and aerosols. 
  • Sequestrants combine with metal ions to form complexes. This action improves product stability, e.g., citric acid, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). 
  • Thickeners produce viscous solutions while stabilizers form stable suspensions (emulsions). They impart "body" to foods or beverages, e.g., carob bean gum, agar, and alginates, as found in salad dressing, whipped cream, cheese, pudding, and frozen desserts. 
  • Surface finishes increase palatability, preserve gloss and inhibit food discoloration, e.g., polishes, waxes, and glazes. 
  • Texturizers alter the appearance and "mouth feel" of food; e.g., pectins, gum ghatti, and gum arabic.

The most questionable additives are artificial food colors because they may cause cancer and/or allergic reactions and their use is strictly cosmetic. Consumer advocates claim they could be eliminated without altering the nutritional value of the food. Other food additives are potentially harmful; for example, sodium nitrite, a preservative, can be converted to a class of compounds (in the stomach and intestine) that cause cancer. Saccharin, an artificial sweetener, also causes cancer in lab animals. Its use has been continued through congressional action, though saccharin-containing food must bear a warning label.

Nutritive sweeteners like sugar (sucrose) and salt are by far the most common food additives. Sweeteners represent empty calories because they do not supply minerals, vitamins, protein, or fiber. Americans eat 28 billion pounds of sweeteners each year; the yearly per capita consumption is 130 to 150 pounds. There is consensus that excessive sugar consumption contributes to tooth decay and to obesity, now considered a leading disease in the U.S. Salt (sodium) is often added to processed foods because they lack flavor. The yearly U.S. consumption of salt per person is 10 to 15 pounds. A high-sodium diet contributes to high blood pressure in some people, who have an increased risk of dying from heart disease. There is no easy way to identify those who are sensitive to sodium ahead of time.

Record Citation: Ronzio, Robert. "food additives." The Encyclopedia of Nutrition and Good Health, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. Health Reference Center. Facts On File, Inc.

This page concern to food sciences, nutrition and additives topics. The information provides thorough and up-to-date information, covering a broad range of topics in the food science and technology. Topics covered include: Food industry, food groups and composition, food chemistry, food processing and preservation, food laws and regulations, food microbiology and fermentation, food safety, food toxicology, food biotechnology, sensory evaluation, and food product development.

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1 komentar:

  1. I read your post Food additives - uses, benefits and health hazards. It was excellent and we are also providing our efforts as food additive manufacturer to the people in maintaining their health issues.


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