3 Uses of Harmful Chemicals in Manufacturing Products

What are harmful chemicals? Harmful chemicals are chemicals which are harmful to be use. But those harmful chemicals were still used until today in manufacture industry. Before we discuss it, we should have known the term of manufacture industry itself. (Read Harmful Chemicals in The Environment)

Manufacture industry is industry that processes raw material into something that can be used by people.

There are many kind of manufacture industry such as automotive industry, food industry, and etc. (Read Hydrogen Peroxide Applications)

Sometimes, there are still uses of harmful chemicals in manufacturing products, as follows :

1. Bisphenol A or BPA

BPA often found in plastic things. BPA imitates estrogen in our body and is harmfu for babies and children. Because of that, in 2012, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of BPA in baby’s milk bottle but not another bottles. Most of people will not choose plastic things contain BPA and there are many manufacture industries label “BPA Free” in their water bottle.

In addition, there is subtitute of BPA named Bisphenol S or BPS which is as dangerous as BPA because it can disturb the normal function of cell so that it will cause health’s serious problems. Because of that, we need to be careful by not buying plastic things that contain BPA, BPS or BP in it so that our family’s health will not be disturbed.

2. Formalin

Formalin is one of the preservatives that are currently widely used in food, whereas these types of preservatives are very harmful to health. Formalin is a colorless, sharp-smelling, formaldehyde solution of about 37% in water, usually added 10-15% methanol.

Formalin has many name or synonym like formol, morbicid, methanal, formic aldehyde, methyl oxide, oxymethylene, methyl aldehyde, oxomethane, formoform, formalith, oxomethane, karsan, methylene glycol, paraforin, poly-oxymethylene glycols, superlysoform, tetraoxymethylene dan trioxane

The Characteristics of Formalin

This preservative has an aldehyde element that is easy to react with proteins, so when splashed into foods like tofu, formalin will bind protein elements from the surface of the tofu to continue to sink in it. With the death of proteins after being bound to the chemical elements of formaldehyde then when pressed tofu feels more supple.

In addition, dead proteins will not be attacked by decomposing bacteria that produce acidic compounds, which is why tofu or other formaldehyde foods become more durable. (Read Acid in Water Reaction)

Formaldehyde kills bacteria by making tissues in dehydrated bacteria (lack of water), so the bacterial cell will dry and form a new layer on the surface. That is, formalin not only kill bacteria, but also form a new layer that protects the underlying layer, in order to resist against other bacteria attack. When other disinfectants deactivate bacterial attacks by killing and not reacting with a protected material, formaldehyde reacts chemically and remains in the material to protect from subsequent attacks. 

Seeing its nature, formalin also will certainly attack the protein that many contained in the human body as in the stomach. Moreover, when formalin entering the body that has a high dose.

The problem is, as an ingredient used only to preserve food, the dose of formalin used will be low. So the side effects of consuming formalin foods will not be perceived directly by consumers.

Many parties remind formalin also has the nature of carcinogens or can cause cancer. But the emergence of cancer due to this dangerous substances with cancer from other causes is almost difficult to distinguish, both require long time to attack the human body.

The issue of formalin content in various food products gets a serious response from the government, because in the long run can trigger the occurrence of cancer. According to the Head of the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), to some degree, formalin is allowed for cosmetic preservatives, ie for maximum toothpaste 0.1% and for other cosmetic products 0.2%. This provision conforms to internationally accepted rules such as the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive, the European Union Directive and the BPOM Decree for cosmetics.

3. Monosodium Glutamat

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), almost everyone has tasted savory and savory taste in MSG. Almost in every restaurant or stalls do not escape from the addition of MSG in every dish. Plain food is not good to enjoy. Therefore, the use of MSG is increasingly popular as a flavor. MSG is known as a flavor ingredient that strengthens the taste of food becomes more delicious and delicious.

MSG was first discovered in 1909 in Japan by Ajinomoto Corp. MSG is made through the fermentation process of molasses (molasses) by bacteria (Brevibacterium lactofermentum). In this fermentation process, first will be produced Glutamic Acid. Glutamic acid that occurs from this fermentation process, then added soda (Sodium Carbonate), so will form Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). This MSG happens, then purified and crystallized, so it is a pure crystalline powder that is ready to be sold in the market. 

Monosodium glutamate has grown into one of the most popular food additives in the world. When added to food, MSG provides the same function as Glutamate, which provides a delicious flavor to food. In addition to MSG, there are other flavors used by the food industry such as disodium inosinate (IMP) and disodium guanilate (GMP). However, MSG is liked by many people because of the generosity and effectiveness of MSG in strengthening the taste. MSG is simply divided into two types, namely natural MSG and artificial MSG. Natural MSG is healthy for consumption.

While artificial MSG which has wide circulation, is very potential to bring health problems.
MSG is used in almost all types of vegetables, broths, and side dishes, various processed foods such as canned meat, ketchup, soy sauce, sausages, snacks, some cheese products, instant noodles, The use of MSG is sometimes ‘hidden’ behind food labels under different names, such as ‘natural flavors’.

You may also read :Common Chemicals Used at Home

MSG is a white powder that quickly dissolves in water or saliva. After dissolving, MSG decomposes into sodium and glutamate. Glutamate is a nonessential amino acid found in almost all proteins.

In the brain, enzymes catalyze the decarbosylation of glutamic acid into gamma-aminobutric acid. Glutamic acid and gamma-aminobutric acid affect the transmission of signals in the brain. Glutamic acids increase the transmission of signals in the brain, while gamma-amino acids lower them. Therefore, consuming excessive MSG in some individuals can damage the equilibrium between increased and decreased signal transmission in the brain. Therefore, in the late 1970s, baby food companies agreed not to include MSG elements into baby food products.

The good taste that is posed by MSG is alleged to be the cause of excessive use of MSG. Like salt, MSG has an optimum dose of 0.2-0.8% of the food volume. The use of MSG that is higher than this optimum dosage can reduce the taste of food in which we generally do not want it. Of course factories and food vendors will never make their food uncomfortable by adding MSG out of bounds, because it means they kill their own business.

Those are the examples of uses of harmful chemicals in manufacturing products. Hope this article is useful.