Nine Important Facts You Should Know About Food Additives
Nowadays, our life can not be separated from what we call food additives. They are substances that are intentionally added to our food during its processing. Almost all of what we eat everyday contains such substances, whether they are naturally occurring or artificial substances.
Preservatives, artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers, artificial food colors, antioxidants and mineral salt are some common examples of such additives we usually consume. But the question is do you realize that these substances are chemicals and may harm your health?
There are some food additives that are safe to eat and some are not. And it becomes the main reason why I wrote this article. I want you to know some important facts about such substances, so you can wisely decide to reduce or even stop consuming such chemicals.
- In food industry, chemicals are added to food to improve shelf life, increase nutritional value, improve the food flavor, enhance appearance and control acidity and alkalinity.
- Most food additives are shown on product label. You can check what kinds of additives are added.
- Some of them are not mentioned on the label, because they are stated as ingredient. For example margarine. Margarine is processed using additives.
- Not all processed foods contain additives, such as frozen foods, canned foods and long-life milk.
- Some of food additives are safe to consume and some of them are not.
- Sometimes the additive is stated in its full name and at the other times, it is mentioned only in form of its representing code number.
- There are many types of food additives: antioxidants, anti caking agents, emulsifier, artificial sweetener, food acids, colors, flavors, gelling agent, flavor enhancer, humectants, salts, propellants, preservatives, foaming agents, bulking agents, rising agents, glazing agents, thickeners, vegetable gums and stabilizers.
- Food additives are chemicals. They can be naturally occurring substances or artificial substances. Naturally occurring additives do not always mean safer than artificial additives.
- Each food additive has safe limit value to consume by human and at the same time not give bad effect on human health. The value is determined through a sequential testing.
If you cannot avoid completely eating additives in your food, at least you should know what are safe and what are not. Never thing these chemicals are safe because no health effect were surveyed. Always bear in mind that they may have long-term effect on your health, not short term effects. Also remember that you are responsible for your own health, not food manufacturers’ responsibilities.