The mere mention of the presence of additives in food often raises negative associations. Can you avoid them? Are they harming us? Or maybe the opposite?
On the one hand, consumers are more likely to buy food products that are prettier, have equal shapes and uniform colors, and on the other hand they emphasize that they prefer natural and healthy products. However, the truth is that we add food supplements every day, because they are part of many products. Can you avoid them? Are they harming us? Or maybe the opposite?
Why do manufacturers use “add-ons”?
Additional substances serve many different technological functions in food. Among other things, they serve to prolong the durability of products, improve their color, consistency, enhance taste or smell, etc. We are more willing to buy and eat products that are nice and their appearance encourages to eat. Manufacturers use additive substances, often driven for economic reasons, including increasing production efficiency or limiting possible losses. Another aspect is the use of additional substances to prevent adverse changes in the quality of products. An example of this is the addition of tocopherols to butter, which prevents rancidity or the addition of arabic gum to ice cream, which prevents crystallization. In recent years, additives have also been used in the production of food used in the prevention of various diseases,for example in light foods.
When ‘add-ons’ can be used?
Additives may only be used if they meet the relevant legal requirements and provide scientifically documented safety. By definition, “additives” can not constitute (subject to the permitted level of use) threats to human health or life, and their use must be justified technologically. In addition, the manufacturer may use additional substances if there is no other way to achieve the target. It is also very important that the use of “add-ons” does not mislead the consumer in any way.
Food additives are marked with the symbol E with the given number. They are divided into groups
E 100 – 199 dyes
E 200 – 299 preservatives
E 300 – 399 antioxidants
E 400 – 499 emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners
E 500 – 599 pH regulators and scarifiers
E 600 – 699 flavor enhancers
E 700 – 799 antibiotics
E 800 – 1599 additives for various applications (including sweeteners)
Can additional substances be harmful?
Selected additive substances may also be added to formulas intended for infant nutrition, which proves that the products used by the producers (in accordance with the guidelines and in appropriate amounts) do not pose a threat even for such small consumers. Everything, however, within reason. If we eat very large amounts of highly processed food, we bring in a lot of additional substances to the body, and this may have negative health consequences in the future. To prevent this, choose natural food and use a varied diet.
Scientific research confirms that there is a connection between the dietary intake of additional substances, especially such as dyes, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and salicylates, and the severity of symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Already in 1970, a diet program was created – The Feingold Diet, the author of which indicated the benefits of using a diet that excludes products rich in additional substances in children with ADHD. In the following years, many studies were carried out using specialized diets in children with ADHD. The vast majority have been shown to reduce hyperactivity, aggression and other symptoms of ADHD due to the elimination of products rich in “supplements” from the daily diet.
Dyes can not be included in bee honey, natural mineral waters, milk or natural buttermilk.