Information On Food Additives And Preservatives

Information on food preservatives and additives, which are a risk to good health.

Did you ever wonder why you feel so terrible after a meal. As far as you knew, you ate good.

You had fish, a salad, 2 vegetables, fruit afterwards, and then you ate that twinkie thingy!

Now pick up the package, can, and bag the food stuff came out of.

The following will inform you of the additives in your food products, and why they are used.

Why Are Additives Used in Foods?

Additives have useful functions. Since most people no longer live on farms, additives help keep food wholesome and appealing while en route to markets. Additives also improve the nutritional value of certain foods and can make them more appealing by improving their taste, texture, consistency or color. Additives are used in foods for five main reasons:

To maintain product consistency.

Emulsifiers give products a consistent texture and prevent them from separating. Stabilizers and thickeners give smooth uniform texture. Anti-caking agents help substances such as salt to flow freely.

To improve or maintain nutritional value.

Vitamins and minerals are added to many common foods such as milk, flour, cereal and margarine to make up for those likely to be lacking in a person's diet or lost in processing. Such fortification and enrichment has helped reduce malnutrition among the U.S. population. All products containing added nutrients must be appropriately labeled.

To maintain palatability and wholesomeness.

Preservatives retard product spoilage caused by mold, air, bacteria, fungi or yeast. Bacterial contamination can cause food borne illness, including life-threatening botulism. Antioxidants are preservatives that prevent fats and oils in baked goods and other foods from becoming rancid or developing an off-flavor. They also prevent cut fresh fruits such as apples from turning brown when exposed to air.

To provide leavening or control acidity/ alkalinity.

Leavening agents that release acids when heated can react with baking soda to help cakes, biscuits and other goods to rise during baking. Other additives help modify the acidity and alkalinity of foods for proper flavor, taste and color.

To enhance flavor or impart desired color.

Many spices and natural and synthetic flavors enhance the taste of foods. Colors, likewise, enhance the appearance of certain foods to meet consumer expectations.



However food additives and preservatives can also cause the following medical conditions.

Aspartame A chemical is artificial sweeteners, is known to be poisonous even in modest amounts. It can cause brain damage, blindness, inflammation of the pancreas and heart muscles.

Calcium Propionate Claims that are linked between the food preservative, calcium propionate, and behavioral problems in children.

Carbamate Measurable detrimental effects on the nervous, immune and endocrine (hormone) systems.

FD&C Green No.3 Fast Green Known to cause bladder tumors.

Food Coloring Colorings can cause anaphylactic shock in sensitive individuals.

Gentian Violet CI Basic Violet No.3 Can cause contact dermatitis.

Hydrolyzed Protein Fatty acids contain higher parameters for heart disease. Known to cause Celiac Disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is a chronic disease in which mal-absorption of nutrients is caused by a characteristic lesion of the small intestine mucosa.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Some people report symptoms such as dizziness, flushing, nausea and a feeling of tightness or pressure in the upper part of the body after eating food containing MSG.

Pectin Large quantities may cause temporary flatulence or intestinal discomfort.

Potassium Bromate Large quantities can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain.

Sodium aluminium silicate Known to cause placental problems in pregnancy and has been linked to Alzheimer's.

Sorbitol Can cause gastric disturbance.

Sulfites The symptom most reported is difficulty breathing. Other problems range from stomach ache to hives to anaphylactic shock.

Thiamine Adverse effects in high doses are headache, irritability, rapid pulse, trembling and weakness.

There are many more additives in our food sources. You must be aware of these, and are encouraged in seeking more information to safe guard your own health.

© Demand Media 2011