Food Additives


Food components resembling salt, sugar and vinegar have been historically used for the preservation of meals. A majority of meals components which can be used to protect meals are believed to be protected however the potential of carcinogenic and poisonous qualities of meals components can’t be dominated out or ignored. Certain meals components are believed to have side-effects in adults and most significantly in youngsters, resembling elevated hyperactivity, allergic reactions, bronchial asthma issues, and migraines.

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A meals additive is any substance that’s utilized in or added to meals with the intention to protect its high quality, style, colour or another characteristic which can be destroyed over a time period attributable to preservation (The Food Labeling Regulations, 1980). Food components might or might not be meals and are generally chemical in nature which support the prevention of the disintegration of the meals and enhance its shelf life (The Food Labeling Regulations, 1980).

There are three kinds of meals components, beauty meals components, preservatives and the processing aids of meals (The London Food Commission, 1988). Sugar and salt are the 2 mostly used components in meals and the surplus use of the 2 should be prevented. Other generally used components are baking soda, yeast and vanilla. Food components could also be pure or synthetic relying upon the sources from which they’re obtained.

If the components are obtained from pure sources resembling corn or soybean to offer consistency to meals resembling soups, then the components are pure. Even coloring components could also be naturally obtained from greens resembling beetroots. However, whether or not an additive has been naturally or synthetically obtained doesn’t validate the security of the additive.

Additives could also be added to meals for a number of causes. Not solely do they assist in growing the shelf lifetime of meals, in addition they enhance the colour, texture and consistency of a number of meals, as an example soups not solely look higher but in addition style higher with the addition of starches, to reinforce the thickness and consistency.

In some instances, the components additionally enhance the dietary worth of the meals, for instance, milk is enriched with nutritional vitamins and minerals to extend the dietary content material. It is essential to protect the meals for later use, if they aren’t consumed instantly. The use of components prevents spoilage of meals attributable to bacterial contaminations, thereby stopping a number of food-borne ailments.

Although meals components are of essential significance in immediately’s world, when there’s a discount in farming associated actions and elevated emphasis on storage of meals for later use, the a number of dangerous results of components in meals can’t be ignored.

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There are sure components that do increase the standard of meals, however the presence of some chemical components and colours to meals, not solely reduces the dietary content material, and in some instances causes a number of side-effects which to the human physique.

There is a protracted checklist of meals preservatives used presently. These might or might not be protected to make use of and are listed under.

Acesulfame-Okay, Alginate propylene glycol alginate, alpha tocopherol generally termed as Vitamin E (

Artificial colorings blue 1, blue 2, citrus pink 2, pink 3, pink 40, inexperienced 3, yellow 5, and yellow 6 (

Artificial and pure flavorings, ascorbic acid or vitamin C, sodium ascorbate, aspartame, benzoic acid, beta carotene, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), caffeine, calcium propionate, carmine, carrageenan, casein, sodium caseinate, citric acid, sodium citrate, cochineal extract, corn syrup, cyclamate, dextrose, diacetyl, diacylglycerol, EDTA, Erythorbic acid, Ferrous Gluconate, Food Starch, Modified, Fructose, Fumaric acid, Gelatin, Glycerin, Gums, Heptyl Paraben, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate (HSH), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Invert sugar, lecithin, Lactic acid, Lactitol Lactose, Maltitol, Mannitol, Mono and Diglycerides, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), Mycoprotein, Neotame, Olestra, Olegofructose, Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans fats), Phosphoric acid, Plant sterols and stenols, Polydextrose, Polysorbate 60, Potassium bromate, Propyl galate, Quinine, Quorn, Saccharin, Salatrim, Salt, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic acid, Sodium Carboxymethyl- Cellulose (CMC), Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Nitrate, Sorbic acid, Sorbitan Monostearate, Sorbitol, Starch, starch modified, Sucralose, Sugar, Sulfites, Tagatose, Thiamine mononitrate, Triacetin, Trans fats, Vanillin, Vegetable oil sterols (

Tartrazine is a colorant that’s generally used within the manufacture of sentimental drinks and has been a relentless reason behind debate for its intolerance in a number of instances (Miller M, 1985; Levy F, Dumbrell S, Hobbes G, Ryan M, et al, 1978; Smith JM, 1991; Weiss B, 1984). The publicity to Tartrazine is prone to trigger extreme asthmatic reactions (Freedman BJ, 1977), rhinitis (Vendanthan PK, Menon MM, Bell TD, et al), urticaria (Juhlin L, 1981) and hyperactivity amongst youngsters (Feingold BF, 1981).

The additive generally utilized in flour, curcumin, has been recognized to trigger extreme issues associated to thyroid, in a examine performed on pigs (Miller M, 1985).

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The generally used sundown yellow colour in biscuits, confirmed damaging results on a examine performed on rats (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987) and confirmed carcinogenic results in animals (Miller M, 1985). The preservatives utilized in jams, carmoisine, have been additionally discovered to be carcinogen in nature (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987).

Several different colours resembling amaranth, ponceau erythrosine, caramel colour and brown FK, used generally to protect meals have been discovered to be carcinogen in nature and research have highlighted the a number of unintended effects that they might have on people particularly youthful youngsters (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987).

Similar outcomes have been present in preservatives resembling benzoates, generally utilized in fish preparations, jam fillings, aerated drinks and beer (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987).

Even the preservatives, sulphites, utilized in syrups, dairy-based deserts, biscuits and beer has yielded related outcomes when examined (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987). Nitrates and nitrites in frequent meals resembling bacon, ham and cheese are recognized to trigger complications and a number of other unintended effects in people (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987; Taylor G, 1983).

The widespread use of BHA in mixtures of soups and cheese spreads has discovered to be having tumor producing qualities in rats along with the quite a few unintended effects it produces in people (Miller M and Millstone E, 1987).

The use of monosodium glutamate or MSG is widespread for enhancing the flavour of meals and snacks, particularly these popularly consumed by youngsters.

The hottest use is within the preparation of Chinese meals and delicacies, that are gaining reputation world-wide. It has been discovered that MSG destroys the mind cells of kids and in addition causes a number of side-effects resembling bronchial asthma, critical head-aches, heart-burn and lots of others (Weiss B, 1984; Allen DH and Baker GJ, 1981).

Research has indicated that the factitious sweeteners resembling saccharin, cyclamate and aspartame, that are each generally used as sugar substitutes by diabetic sufferers in addition to the beverage business, are discovered to be extremely carcinogen in nature (Wynn M and Wynn A, 1981).

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These synthetic sweeteners are very generally discovered within the so referred to as “diet” merchandise together with the soft-drinks and drinks. The use of saccharin is understood to trigger a number of cancers together with these of the urinary bladder, ovaries, pores and skin, blood vessel and lots of different organs of the human physique (National Cancer Institute).

The use of synthetic sugars was banned within the yr 1977 by an initiative of the FDA, however later eliminated after the congress proposed that there be a warning discover on merchandise the place it’s used.

A major concern referring to meals components is the discount within the vitamin content material of the meals. Since it has been discovered that essentially the most generally used components are salt, fats and sucrose, all of that are virtually devoid of any vitamin, the dietary worth of preserved meals stays a major concern.

Although there often is the addition of sure vitamins resembling minerals and nutritional vitamins to processed meals, these meals which have a excessive consumption fee amongst youngsters, are typically low on dietary worth however excessive on calorie consumption, posing a critical menace to the well being of the kids and all this who devour them.

Whereas all of the people who devour meals with preservatives are at appreciable well being dangers, the scenario is especially grave for youngsters as they’re at essential levels of psychological and bodily progress. The consumption of components might then have extreme penalties on their current and future well being, psychological and bodily.

The use and consumption of components to protect meals and improve their flavors has dramatically elevated up to now few years. Since the Western international locations are rank excessive within the consumption of processed meals, they’re at a significantly larger danger to the side-effects ensuing from these meals as in comparison with their different counter components. Smith JM (1991) notes the extreme side-effects following the consumption of those meals, wealthy in components.

These embody eczema, urticaria, angioedema, exfoliative dermatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rhinitis, bronchospasm, migraine, anaphylaxis, hyperactivity and different behavioural problems.

The deterioration within the well being of the Western nations has been confirmed by a examine performed by Dr Michael Wadsworth, the place it was discovered that there was a substantial enhance within the occurrences of “asthma, eczema, juvenile diabetes and a double increase in the obesity” of adults, particularly youngsters (Wadsworth M, 1985).

The report additionally highlights {that a} larger quantity are actually hospitalized fro a number of issues, and that the prime purpose of this, based on this examine is the decreased ranges of vitamin and ‘sub-clinical mal-nutrition’ amongst youngsters in addition to adults.

The examine attributes these two elements to the elevated use of the “wide use of non essential food additives” (Wadsworth M, 1985). The analysis does acknowledge that there’s a necessity of components for the preservation of sure meals, and notes that out of 4 thousand meals components used presently, three thousand six-hundred and forty are solely used to reinforce the look and the colour of the meals.

Thus, the precise preservatives required for meals preservation solely quantity to 2 p.c of the whole preservatives (The London Food Commission, 1988). The others are merely used for beauty causes (The London Food Commission, 1988).

Food components have been used since occasions immemorial to protect the colour, taste and texture of meals, and it’s the accountability of the meals and beverage business to cease utilizing the substances that trigger hurt in any strategy to human life.


Allen DH and Baker GJ: Chinese restaurant bronchial asthma. New Engl J Med, 305:1154-1155, 1981

Feingold BF: Hyperkinesis and studying disabilities linked to the ingestion of synthetic meals colours and flavors. J Learn Disabilities, 9:19-27, 1976

Feingold BF: Dietary Management of Behavior and Learning Disabilities. In: Nutrition & Behavior, Ed: SA Miller, p 37 Franklin Institute Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 1981

Food components checklist from The Center for Science within the Public Interest

Food Intolerance and Food Aversion: A Joinf Report of the Royal College of Physicians and the British Nutrition Foundation. J Royal Colle~e of Physicians of London, Vol:l8, No:2, April 1984

Freedman BJ: Asthma induced by sulphur dioxide, benzoate and tartazine contained in orange drinks. Clin Allergy, 7:407-415, 1977

Juhlin L: Recurrent urticaria: medical investigation of 330 sufferers. Br J Dermatology, 104:369-381, 1981

Levy F, Dumbrell S, Hobbes G, Ryan M, et al: Hyperkinesis and weight-reduction plan: A double-blind crossover trial with a tartrazine problem. Med J Austr, 1:61-64, 1978

Miller M: Danger! Additives at Work, London Food Commission , London 1985

Miller M and Millstone E: Food Additives Campaign Team: Report on Colour Additives. FACT, 25 Horsell Road, London N5 lXL, June, 1987

Smith JM: Adverse reactions to meals and drug components. European J Clin Nutr, 45,(Suppl.l):17-21, 1991

Taylor G: Nitrates, nitrites, nitrosamines and most cancers. Nutrition and Health, 2:1, 1983.

The Food Labelling Regulations (S.I. 1980, No:1849),1980

The London Food Commission: Food Adulteration and how one can beat it. Unwin Paperbacks, 1988

Vendanthan PK, Menon MM, Bell TD, et al: Aspirin and tartrazine oral problem: incidence of antagonistic response in power childhood bronchial asthma. J Allergy and Clin Immunol, 60:8-13, 1977

Wadsworth M: Intergenerational variations in little one well being; Report to British Society for Population Studies Conference, August, 1985

Weiss B: Food Additive Safety and Evaluation: The Link to Behavioral Disorders in Children pp 221-250, Plenum Publishing Corporation, 1984

Wynn M and Wynn A: The prevention of handicap of early being pregnant origin: Some proof for the worth of excellent well being earlier than conception. Foundation for Education and Research in Childbearing. 9 View Road, London N6 4DJ, 1981

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