30 Chemicals in Food (Good and Dangerous Ingredients)
The food that you eat can give so many effects to your health. There are so many choices of food that you consume these days. Foods also contain various nutrients that are needed by your body such as vitamins, protein, minerals, and carbohydrate. Besides these nutrients, foods also contain chemicals as well. There re so many types of chemicals being used in our foods these days. Some of these chemicals are actually good while some others are considered bad and might cause health issues. Below are quick explanation about the types of chemicals in food, which one of them that are bad and which one of them that are actually good for you.
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Good Chemicals in Foods
Even though there are so many types of chemical that are used in foods these days, not all of them are bad for you. Some chemicals in foods are actually good and can give benefits for your health even though the name of these chemicals might scare you at first. Below are several types of chemical in foods that are actually safe for you to consume.
This chemical sounds like dangerous chemical that can burn your skin or melt your face. In fact, this is the official chemical name that is used for vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is one of the most essential vitamins for your body. There are so many benefits that you can get from vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 can promote healthy heart, decrease risk of depression, improve immune system, keep nervous system healthy, promote healthy kidney, promote healthy skin, and control glucose level in your blood. So, the next time you find this chemical on your foods, you don’t need to be panic since it’s actually good for your body.
2. Ascorbyl palmitate
Other chemical that came with quite scary name is ascorbyl palmitate. You might think that this chemical is poison or something that can ruin your health. But did you know that ascorbyl palmitate is actually one of the antioxidants that are made from the combination between palmitic acid and vitamin C? That’s right. Palmitic acid is the type of natural compound that is derived from fat. Ascorbyl palmitate is used in foods in order to prevent spoilage. However, once this chemical enters your body system, it will break down into the parts that form it. Your body will use the vitamin C and will directly burn the fat or store the energy that is provided by it.
Carboxymethylcellulose is the chemical additive that is used in foods to stabilize and improve the texture of certain types of foods such as beer, jellies, or even ice cream. This chemical is safe for your body and it is okay for you to consume foods that contain this type of chemical. Carboxymethylcellulose is basically the type of carbohydrate that is derived from plants’ cell walls. In synthesizing this chemical, the carbohydrate that came from plants’ cell walls then treated with using acetic acid that can be found in vinegar. This chemical is not dangerous for your body since your body will not break this chemical down and absorb it. Carboxymethylcellulose will only pass through your digestive system.
Several types of foods on the market these days might contain castoreum. You don’t need to be worried since this chemical is not dangerous for your body. This chemical is derived from sacs that are located on beaver’s behind. Even though this type of chemical can be found in some foods these days, the fact is that only approximately 1,000 pounds of this chemical are used in foods annually.
This chemical is not considered as significant part of our foods even though it’s been used widely. This chemical is also very expensive as well. This type of chemical is usually used to enhance flavor in foods such as vanilla ice cream.
5. Stearic acid
Stearic acid can be found in almost any types of fat. This type of fatty acid appears naturally in almost any types of fat that are used in foods these days. Stearic acid is also added into chewing gums in order to prevent spoilage. This fatty acid is considered as saturated fat. Most of you might know that saturated fat is bad for your health. But the amount of stearic acid that is used in foods as food additive is very tiny so you don’t need to be worried about heart disease risk when consuming foods that contain this type of chemical. Margarine and shortening are two types of food that usually use stearic acid.
Natamycin is other type of chemical that is usually used in our foods these days. This type of chemical is usually used in foods in order to prevent mold and fungus growth in foods. However, this chemical cannot prevent bacteria growth in foods. The most common type of food that uses natamycin is cheese. Natamycin is added to cheese in order to prevent mold growth so that the cheese can last longer. This chemical is used in foods as preservatives because it will not affect the flavor of the foods. Other benefit of using natamycin as preservatives is that this chemical came with low impact on food’s acidity.
7. Silicon dioxide
Silicon dioxide is also known as silica. This compound is considered as one of the most common types of chemical compounds that are used in food industries these days. Silicon dioxide is a chemical compound that occurs naturally and can be found in many places such as earth’s crust, plants, sand, and even rocks. Silicon dioxide is also can be found in your own body as well. This chemical compound is used in foods in order to prevent caking in various types of food products such as salt.
The WHO has considered this chemical as chemical that is safe for being used in foods decades ago. Researches that have been conducted showed that this chemical compound will not cause any toxic effects to your body and it will be eliminated quickly from your body through your kidneys.
8. Ferrous gluconate
This type of chemical compound is usually found in iron supplements. Ferrous gluconate plays a role as the source of iron. However, this type of chemical compound is usually listed in canned black olives as coloring agent as well. You don’t need to be worried consume foods that contain this type of chemical compound since it is safe for your body. Moreover, this chemical compound actually can give health benefits for your body. Ferrous gluconate can help red blood cells synthesizing in your body and support carbohydrate metabolism in your body.
9. Glucono delta-lactone
Glucono delta-lactone is the type of chemical that is usually used in foods in order to increase acidity. This type of chemical compound is also used in baked goods as leavening agent as well. Glucono delta-lactone is considered as part of additives family (including magnesium gluconate, gluconic acid, zinc gluconate, and sodium gluconate) that is quite safe according to researches that are conducted by CSPI. So when you find this chemical compound is listed on your foods, you don’t need to be panic.
At first sight, you might think that this chemical is a dangerous chemical. Some of you might go panic when you find the name of this chemical is listed on your foods. Here’s the surprise. This name is actually the chemical name for water. So, next time you find oxidane is listed on your foods or on your drinks, don’t worry, it’s just water.
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Bad Chemicals in Food
Not all chemicals in your foods are good. Thus, chemicals in food maybe bad for health. Some of them are bad and might cause health issues in long term. Just like good chemicals, there are various bad chemicals that are used in various types of foods these days and you might not know that these chemicals are bad for you. Below are several bad chemicals that are commonly used in various types of foods these days. If you find these chemicals or one of them listed on your foods, you might want to prevent eating the foods or limit your consumption of those particular foods.
Saccharin is one of the most common types of additive that are used in food products these days. This additive works as sweetener that can makes your foods or drinks taste sweeter. The use of saccharin in foods is still controversial until today. There are many studies and researches that show the negative effects of saccharin consumption to your health. Some experts said that saccharine might be safe for you in very small amount. But if you consume this chemical compound continuously in long term, you might have risk of various health issues. Some health issues that might be caused by overconsumption of saccharine are including bladder cancer, diabetes, and allergy. Saccharine might cause bladder cancer because this chemical compound has carcinogen property.
There are so many artificial sweeteners that are used in foods these days. These artificial sweeteners are also known as sugar substitute. One of the most common artificial sweeteners that you can find on foods these days is aspartame. This type of artificial sweetener is usually used in candy or soft drink. Aspartame is actually good if it’s consumed in very low amount.
In fact, this artificial sweetener has several benefits such as it contains low calories, it can enhance taste in foods, and it will not cause teeth damage. However, this artificial sweetener is also considered as excitotoxin that is not good for your health. Aspartame is also considered as carcinogen as well. Several symptoms that might be caused by consume too much aspartame are including headaches, dizziness, stomach problems, and blurred vision.
13. Acesulfame potassium
Other type of artificial sweetener that is commonly found in your foods these days is acesulfame potassium. This artificial sweetener is claimed 200 times sweeter from regular sugar. Other great thing about this artificial sweetener is that it’s low calories.
This artificial sweetener is added into various types of foods and drinks these days such as jam, chewing gum, ice cream, and frozen dessert. Acesulfame potassium is also used with other artificial sweetener, especially aspartame, since this chemical compound can reduce the bitterness that is produced by aspartame. Several studies and research found that acesulfame potassium is carcinogenic and might cause breast or lung cancer.
14. Tertiary butylhydroquinone
Tertiary butylhydroquinone or also known as TBHQ is considered as other chemical that is commonly found in foods these days and might have bad effect to your health. Basically, TBHQ is chemical compound that works as additive. This additive is added to foods in order to preserve various types of processed foods. In fact, TBHQ is antioxidant. However, unlike natural antioxidants that are healthy and good for your body, TBHQ is considered as antioxidant with quite controversial reputation.
TBHQ is used in various types of foods these days. This additive is usually used in fats, whether it’s animal fats or vegetable oils. Most processed foods these days use fats that contain TBHQ. These processed foods are including noodles, snack crackers, frozen foods, and even fast foods. TBHQ is also usually used in fish products as well since this additive can preserve fish in more effective way. However, if you consume this additive in large amount and in long term, it might cause stomach tumor and other health issues.
15. Sodium nitrate
Other common chemical that is added to your foods these days is sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is actually salt that is usually added to various foods such as bacon, hot dogs, or other cured meats. Sodium nitrate is used in these foods since this type of salt can help preserve them. Sodium nitrate is also usually used in processed meats in order to prevent bacterial growth as well.
Even though sodium nitrate can help preserve various types of foods, this chemical compound might cause health issue if you consume it too much. Sodium nitrate is considered as one of the chemicals that might cause cancer in adults in children. So next time you find sodium nitrate on your foods, you might want to consider to stop consuming that particular food.
Sulfites are other chemical that is commonly used in foods these days as preservative. Sulfites are basically inorganic salt that can help extend certain foods’ shelf life. Sulfites can help prevent bacteria growth in foods and can maintain stability on certain drugs. There are so many types of foods that use sulfites these days. Basically, sulfites are considered safe for you if you consume it in low amount. This type of chemical compound will not cause any health issues if you consume it, even in the long term.
However, some people might have allergy to sulfites and if these people consume foods that contain sulfites, it might trigger their allergies. The most common symptom that might occur on people who are allergy to this chemical due to consume foods that contain sulfites is breathing difficulties. So if you are diagnosed with allergy to this chemical, you should avoid consuming foods that contain sulfites.
17. Potassium bromate
Potassium bromate might be one of the chemicals that you never realized in your every day foods. This chemical is usually used in flour. That’s why you might find type of flour that is called bromated flour. Most foods these days that are made of flour usually used bromated flour. You might consume bromated flour all of your life without you even realize it. Bromated flour is usually used for making bread. Bromated flour is better than regular flour since potassium bromate in this type of flour can improve the work of gluten in the flour.
As the result, the dough that is made using bromated flour has more volume and can rise higher. Using potassium bromate on flour is considered safe. However, if you use too much potassium bromate in your foods or if you consume too much food that contain high amount of potassium bromate, you might have higher risk of cancer.
18. Propylene glycol
Other type of chemical that is usually used in foods as preservative is propylene glycol. This chemical is commonly known as antifreeze. This chemical is used in various foods, especially in dairy products. If it’s used in dairy products, propylene glycol can thicken milk, cheese, or other dairy products. This chemical is also usually used in salad dressing as well.
Even though the FDA considers propylene glycol as safe, this chemical might cause several health issues if it’s consumed in excessive amount. The health issues that might be caused by this chemical are including allergic reaction, skin irritation, liver disease, and kidney problems.
Butane is other type of chemical compound that is commonly used in foods these days. This chemical compound is usually used in chicken nugget in order to keep the chicken nugget tastes fresh. So if you love to eat chicken nugget, you’ve already consumed butane without you know. Butane is known as carcinogen and might cause cancer if it’s consumed too much in long term.
20. Monosodium Glutamate
Monosodium glutamate or also known as MSG might be one of the most popular flavor enhancers that are used in foods these days. This chemical compound can be found in various foods, especially processed foods such as instant noodles, snacks, or even cracker biscuits. MSG is also used as ingredients in many commercial flavoring products that can be found easily on the market these days. in high amount, MSG might cause headaches. MSG also might cause more serious health issues as well such as heart problems, nerve damage, and seizures.
Thus, bad chemicals are really dangerous for health. It’s better for us to take care of our health by choosing healthy food with no chemicals.
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