We don't just want our food to taste good these days: It also has to look good. As a result, food producers use any of 14, laboratory-made additives to make our food appear fresher, more attractive or last longer on the shelf. The longer manufacturers use these additives, the more we learn about their impacts. While some additives are harmless, others cause everything from hives and asthma to nausea and headaches in some people.
Some experts recommend avoiding foods listing more than five or six ingredients or ingredients of longer than three syllables and purchasing foods that contain such natural additives as fruits and vegetables. Our list of the top 15 chemical additives and their possible side effects will help decipher ingredient lists at your supermarket.
This gas is pumped into crates of apples to stop them from producing ethylenethe natural hormone that ripens fruit. Commonly known SmartFresh, this chemical preserves apples for up to a year and bananas up to a month.
Sulphur dioxide serves the same purpose when sprayed on grapes. Researchers
List of approved food additives fdating the early s developed many artificial colors from coal-tar dyes and petrochemicals. Over the years, the FDA banned many of these chemicals as proven carcinogens cancer-exacerbating agents. Today, the FDA only allows 10 colors in foods, four of which are restricted to specific uses.
This restriction suggests some risks remain. Check out the color additives section of the FDA www. This blanket term refers to hundreds of laboratory chemicals designed to mimic List of approved food additives fdating flavors. For example, some imitation vanilla flavorings are made from petroleum or paper-mill waste. In fact, a single artificial flavoring can be created from hundreds of individual chemicals.
New studies suggest artificial-flavoring additives can cause changes in behavior. This sugar substitute is sold commercially as Equal and NutraSweet and was hailed as a savior for dieters unhappy with saccharine's unpleasant after-taste. Unfortunately, one out of 20, babies is born without the ability to metabolize phenylalanine, one of the two amino acids in Aspartame.
As a result, it's not recommended for pregnant women or infants. Almost percent of salmon sold in supermarkets today come from farms. The diet of farmed salmon doesn't include crustaceans, which contains a natural astaxanthin that causes pink flesh in wild salmon. As a result, producers add astaxanthin to farm-salmon diets for that fresh-from-the-water appearance.
Astaxanthin is manufactured from coal tar. Often added to milk and meat products, these preservatives are used in many foods, including drinks, low-sugar products, cereals and meats. Both temporarily inhibit the proper functioning of digestive enzymes and cause headaches, stomach upset, asthma attacks and hyperactivity in children. These antioxidants are similar but non-identical petroleum-derived chemicals added to oil-containing foods as a preservative and to delay rancidity.
They are most commonly found in crackers, cereals, sausages, dried meats and other foods with added fats. Egg yolks don't always come out golden yellow, so producers use this pigment to make them more palatable. Although the amounts used are very small, tests have shown greater quantities of canthaxanthin can cause retinal damage. Emulsifiers, made from vegetable fats, glycerol and organic acids, extend the shelf life of bread products and allow liquids that wouldn't normally mix, such as oil and water, to combine smoothly.
Many reduced-fat or low-calorie products use emulsifiers.
List of approved food additives fdating emulsifiers also are used in low-calorie butter, margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise and ice cream. Emulsifying agents used in foods include agar, albumin, alginates, casein, egg yolk, glycerol monostearate, xanthan gums, Irish moss, lecithin and soaps.
This ubiquitous sweetener helps maintain moisture while preserving freshness. A little fructose isn't a problem but the sheer quantity of "hidden" fructose in processed foods is startling. The consumption of large quantities has been fingered as a causative factor in heart disease.
It raises blood levels of cholesterol and triglyceride fats, while making blood cells more prone to clotting and accelerating the aging process. There was much hue and cry years ago when the public learned Chinese restaurants commonly added MSG to Chinese foods as a flavor enhancer. We then learned MSG could be found in many other processed products, such as salad dressings, condiments, seasonings, bouillons and snack chips. Some reports indicate MSG causes tightening in the chest, headaches and a burning sensation in the neck and forearms.
The FDA approved this fake fat for use in snack foods several years ago, over objections from dozens of researchers. Their concern was that Olestra inhibits our ability to absorb the healthy vitamins in fruits and vegetables thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Even at low doses, Olestra is commonly known to cause "anal leakage" and other gastrointestinal problems. Perhaps this is why the FDA requires foods containing Olestra carry a warning label. Hydrogenation is the process of heating an oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it.
The fatty acids in the oil then acquire some of the hydrogen, which makes it more dense. If you fully hydrogenate, you create a solid a fat out of the oil.
But if List of approved food additives fdating stop part way, you create a semi-solid, partially hydrogenated oil with the consistency of butter. Because this process is so much cheaper than using butter, partially-hydrogenated oils are found in many, many foods.
Their addictive properties have linked partially-hydrogenated oils to weight problems caused by a slowed metabolism and the development of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Potassium bromate increases volume in white flour, breads and rolls. California requires a cancer warning on the product label if potassium bromate is an ingredient. These closely related chemicals have been used for centuries to preserve meat. While nitrate itself is harmless, it easily converts to nitrite which, when combined with secondary-amines compounds form nitrosamines, a powerful cancer-exacerbating chemical.
This chemical reaction occurs easily during the frying process. New fat, same old problem with an added twist? Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. January 16, Last month, New York City outlawed the use of partially hydrogenated oils, known as trans fats, in restaurants, a ban now under consideration in other cities, including Boston and Chicago. But novel research conducted in Honey adds health benefits, is natural preservative and sweetener in salad dressings December 9, Antioxidant-rich honey is a healthy alternative to chemical additives List of approved food additives fdating refined sweeteners in commercial salad dressings, said a new University of Illinois study.
New research shows saturated and trans fats increase risk of severe heart attacks August 1, It has long been known that saturated or trans fats can cause clogged arteries that lead to heart attacks, but new research shows that too much fat can worsen the severity of a heart attack - and disrupt heart rhythm, increasing Watch saturated fats and calories too December 22, List of approved food additives fdating December, New York City passed a law to phase out the use of trans fat in restaurants.
Other cities, including Boston and Chicago, might follow suit. According to Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, Gershoff professor of nutrition Researchers find MSG use linked to obesity August 13, People who use monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as a flavor enhancer in their food are more likely than people who don't use it to be overweight or obese even though they have the same amount of physical activity and total calorie Can't judge food by its label February 10, Advanced kidney disease patients have a list of foods they know to avoid because they naturally contain a high level of the mineral phosphorus, which is difficult for their compromised kidneys to expel.
Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? In a new paper featured on the cover of List of approved food additives fdating magazine's special issue on nutrition, researchers Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do November 15, Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee?
Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out. Survey reveals how we use music as a possible sleep aid November 14, Many individuals use music in the hope that it fights sleep difficulties, according to a study published November 14 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Tabitha Trahan of the University of Sheffield, UK, and colleagues.
Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease November 14, Where you live could influence how much you drink. According to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, people living in colder regions with less sunlight drink more alcohol than their Want to cut down on your meds?
Your pharmacist can help. November 14, Pharmacists are pivotal in the process of deprescribing risky medications in seniors, leading many to stop taking unnecessary sleeping pills, anti-inflammatories and other drugs, a new Canadian study has found. No accounting for these tastes: Artificial flavors a mystery November 13, Six artificial flavors are being ordered out of the food supply in a dispute over their safety, but good luck to anyone who wants
List of approved food additives fdating know which cookies, candies or drinks they're in.
Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank. Eat a lot of sodium chloride, get high blood pressure, increased thirst, etc. Too much of anything is toxic, including water, oxygen, etc. Sodium Chloride is very dangerous in sufficiently high concentrations.
Also notice that di-hydro monoxide is found in nearly every processed food in very high concentrations, and has FOUR syllables in its name. This dangerous chemical kills thousands of people every year and has been implicated as the main compound List of approved food additives fdating by the body in causing death by pneumonia. Yet, despite numerous calls to the government for action on this dangerous toxin, the government continues to do nothing. I know I am a cynic and a little paranoid, but I have recently become aware that one entire branch of the military depends on dihydro monoxide for their day to day operations.
This might in fact be the reason nothing continues to be done! I have recently become aware that one entire branch of the military depends on dihydro monoxide for their day to day operations. Nice twist on a rant that just never seems to get old. Just don't forget that it is also a very powerful corrosive agent. Not to mention that it is uniformly fatal if inhaled.
You know what seems an odd correlation to me, the same people who claim the scientists involved in AGW modeling and theory are corrupting data for the phat grant money suddenly trust food chemists when they say some chemical byproduct of an industry process is a safe food additive. See D.G.
Chapman, Current Topics in Canadian Food Regulatory Affairs, fifteen separate tables listing various classes of approved food additives, along with any Foodrd File ("Fourteen food additive regulations, dating tohave been. Reinventing the Food Additive Approval Process, 78 B.U.L.
REV. of the Food Additives Amendment, the FDA submitted a "partial" list of what it would Foodrd File ("Fourteen food additive regulations, dating tohave been revoked. Table lists examples of common food additives. one of two conditions: (1) The substance must receive approval from the FDA for an intended use Most GRAS substances have a history of safe use dating back beforethe date that.