All about the Additives

All about the Additives

Feb 17

We can appreciate that bread contains additives that keep it fresh longer than homemade, but we might be paying a price because of these preservatives. Is it natural for edible substances to last for years? Additives that keep a product fresh mean that they keep away bacteria, yeast, mold and fungi. Names of these preservatives include butyl-, heptyl- or methylparaben (parabens are used more in cosmetics, lotions and deodorants as antibacterials), calcium, sodium or potassium propionate (used mostly to prevent mold in baked products), sodium benzoate (found in foods high in acid, like salad dressings, vinegar, fruit juices and jams, carbonated drinks and condiments) or sodium nitrate (used to fight botulism).

Additives: They areused in processing or food preparation include emulsifiers, thickeners like Carrageenan and stabilizers. These provide consistent texture (diglycerides, various gums, modified food starch, polysorbates, propylene glycol, sorbitanmonostearate and cellulose). Leavening additives control food volume (calcium phosphate) and pH agents control acidity (acetic, lactic, phosphoric or tartaric acid and ammonium alginate). Some additives retain moisture (glycerine) and some anti-caking agents keep powdered substances from clumping together (iron-ammonium citrate, mannitol, silicon dioxide). This is the price we pay to keep our food looking its very best.

carrageenan

The one of the use of Carrageenan kind of additives make you crave the food by enhancing their flavor or color. They include the flavor enhancers, sweeteners and dyes. Annatto is perhaps one of the more common color enhancers used for years in cheeses and butter to turn them yellow. Other color additives include the obvious dyes plus iron oxide, tagetes (from a marigold) and titanium dioxide.

Additive as a sweetener: Sweeteners include dextrose, fructose and mannitol. High fructose corn syrup is a controversial sweetener that appears in so many foods that it may be easier to list those that don’t contain it. Sugar additives are a whole other topic, but suffice it to say that any additive with a suffix of -tose is most likely a sugar or sugar derivative. Food processors know that adding sweetness to a food will encourage people to eat more of it. Judging by the obesity rate, their success will, ironically enough, shorten the lives of their most loyal customers.

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