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Most Dangerous Effects of Food Additives on Health and Environment

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What is food additive?

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Food additive is a substance that is added to a food (usually used to enhance its quality or preserve it). According to World Health Organization (WHO), food additives are substances that are added to a food to maintain the safety,  freshness, taste, texture, or appearance of the food. Example of food additive is sugar that is used as a preservation in marmalade. Indeed, there are some harmful effects of food additives on health and environment.

Types of  food additives?

Based on their uses, food additives can be classified into several types that can be seen as listed below.

  • Anti-caking agent: It is a type of food additive that is used to prevent ingredients from being too lumpy
  • Antioxidants: It is a type of food additive that is used prevent food from oxidizing
  • Artificial sweeteners: It is a type of food additive that is used to increase the sweetness level of a food
  • Bulking agent: It is a type of food additive that is used to increase the volume of a food without major changes to its available energy
  • Color additives: It is a type of food additives that is used to enhance (or add) color to the  food
  • Emulsifiers: It is a type of food additive that is used to prevent fats from clotting together
  • Flavors: It is a type of food additive that is used to add flavor
  • Flavor enhancers: It is a type of food additive that is used to increase the power of food flavor
  • Flour treatment: It is a type of food additive that is used to improve baking quality
  • Foaming agent: It is a type of food additive that is used to maintain uniform aeration of gases in foods
  • Food acids: It is a type of food additive that is used to maintain the acid level of a food
  • Gelling agent: It is a type of food additive that is used to alter the texture of a food through gel formation
  • Glazing agent: It is a type of food additive that is used to improve appearance of a food (and protect it)
  • Humectants: it is a type of food additive that is used to maintain food’s moisture level
  • Mineral salts: It is a type of food additive that is used to enhance the texture and flavor of a food
  • Preservatives: It is a type of food additive that is used to prevent microbes from spoiling the food
  • Propellants: It is a type of food that is used to help propel food from a container
  • Raising agents: It is a type of food additive that is used to increase the volume of a food through the use of gases
  • Stabilizers and firming agent: It is a type of food additive that is used to maintain even food dispersion
  • Thickeners and vegetable gums: It is a type of food additive that is used to enhance food’s texture and consistency

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Examples of food additives in our daily life

There are many food additives that we use in our daily life. Based on their classification, you can see examples of food additives as listed below.

  • Anti-caking agents: Milk and cream powder, grated cheese, icing sugar, drinking chocolate, instant soup powder, and table salt
  • Antioxidants: Ascorbic acid, Butylated hydroxyanisole, Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), Propyl gallate, and Tocopherols
  • Artificial sweeteners: Saccharin, Acesulfame, Sucralose, and Aspartame
  • Bulking agents: Starch
  • Color additives: fruit juices, vegetable juices, beta-carotene (yellow to orange color), annatto extract (yellow color), dehydrated beets (bluish-red to brown color), caramel (yellow to tan color), grape skin extract (green or red)
  • Emulsifiers: Soy lecithin, egg yolk, mustard, Sodium phosphates, Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Monoglycerides, and Diglycerides
  • Flavors: ‘real’ vanilla and ‘artificial’ vanilla
  • Flavor enhancers: Monosodium glutamate (MSG), Monopotassium glutamate, Calcium diglutamate, Guanylic acid, Disodium guanylate, Sodium guanylate, and Inosinic acid
  • Flour treatment: Benzoyl peroxide, potassium bromate, Ascorbic acid, L-Cysteine hydrochloride, Sulfur dioxide, Sodium metabisulphite, Proteinase, and Azodicarbonamide
  • Foaming agent: Surfactant
  • Food acids: Vinegar, Citric acid, tartaric acid, Malic acid, Folic acid, Fumaric acid, and lactic acid
  • Gelling agents: Alginate, Pectin, carrageenan, gellan, gelatin, agar, and methyl cellulose
  • Glazing agents: Stearic acid, beeswax, carnauba wax, shellac, and petroleum jelly
  • Humectants: Propylene glycol, Aloe Vera gel, Lactic acid, egg yolk, and honey
  • Mineral salts: Sodium phosphates, Potassium phosphates, Calcium phosphates, Ammonium phosphates, and Magnesium phosphates
  • Preservatives: Vinegar (for pickling), salt, Sulfur dioxide, Ascorbic acid and Sodium nitrite
  • Propellants: Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Propane, and Octafluorocyclobutane
  • Raising agent: Baking soda, baking powder, and yeast
  • Stabilizers and firming agent: whey and gelatin
  • Thickeners and vegetable gums: Xanthan gum, Agar Agar, Cellulose gum, Guar gum, Locust bean gum, and Pectin

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Effects of food additives on health and environment

Although food additives are mainly beneficial, food additives may also lead to some potential health risk, such as:

  • Cancers
  • Asthma and allergic reaction
  • Bowel symptoms
  • Brain damages
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Headaches
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Neurologic problems
  • Allergy
  • Risk of weight gain

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There are also some food additives that are worth taking not for its potential health risk it may cause, such as:

  • Artificial food colors: It may lead to allergy, asthma, hyperactivity, and it can possibly be carcinogenic
  • Artificial flavor: It may cause allergic reaction
  • Aspartame and Saccharin: Those artificial sweeteners may cause hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and they are possibly carcinogenic
  • Benzoates (BHT, BHA, TBHQ): It may potentially lead to ADHD-related symptoms
  • Hydrogenated fats: It leads to Cardiovascular disease and obesity
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): It may cause allergic reaction, headaches, dizziness, chest pain, depression, mood swing, brain nerves damage and it is possibly neurotoxin
  • Nitrates: It can develop into nitrosamines inside the body, which can be carcinogenic
  • Olestra: It is an artificial fat that can lead to diarrhea and digestive disorders
  • Refined flour: It may lead to carbohydrate imbalances and altered insulin production
  • Salt: An excessive consumption of salt may cause you the increasing of blood pressure
  • Sugar: It may lead to obesity, dental cavities, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and increased triglycerides or Candida
  • Sulfites (such as sulfur dioxide and metabisulfites): It may lead to allergic or asthmatic reaction

Indeed, that’s all the harmful effects of food additives on health and environment that we should avoid to stay healthy!

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Post Date: Saturday 30th, June 2018 / 09:30 Oleh :
Kategori : Chemicals