Food Additives

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    Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated
    Palm Kernel Oil, Apple Juice from
    Concentrate, Less than 2% Citric
    Acid, Dextrin, Modified Corn
    Starch, Natural and Artificial
    Flavors, Coloring (Includes Yellow
    6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5
    Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5, Red
    40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 1),
    Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).


    What are Food Additives?

       Food Additives: substances/chemicals added to
       Approx. 3000 food additives are used
       Food additives are used to:
         Reduce risk of foodborne illnesses
         Enhance nutrient quality

         Act as preservatives

         To make food look and taste good

       Intentional additives
          Added to give a desirable characteristic: longer
           shelf-life, enhance colour, flavour or nutritional
       Indirect additives
          May get in during harvesting, production,
           processing, storage or packaging
            i.e. bits of glass, plastic, paper, and other
             packaging as well as chemicals
     Intentional Food Additives

    1. Anti-microbial Agents:
     preservatives that prevent microorganisms from growing

        Most common = salt (meats and fish) and sugar
         (canned and frozen fruits, jams, jellies)
        Potassium Sorbate (mold inhibitor) and Sodium
         Propionate extend shelf life of baked goods, cheeses,
         beverages, mayonnaise, margarine, etc.
        Nitrites and Nitrates added to preserve colour,
         enhance flavour, and protect against bacteria growth

    2. Antioxidants:
     Food can go bad through oxidation - causes

      changes in colour and flavour; no hazard to health
     Antioxidants prevent rancidity of fats in foods and

      other damage caused by oxidation
     Used in foods like vegetable oil, cereals, gum, chips

        Some antioxidants approved for use are Vitamin
         C (ascorbate) and Vitamin E (tocopherol)

    3. Artificial Colours
     Certified food colours added to enhance

      appearance; also includes bleaching used to whiten
      foods (such as cheese and flour)
     Used in foods like candy, gelatin, desserts,

      margarine, cereals, fruit drinks, marshmallows
     Common additives used are beta carotene, ascorbic
      acid (Vitamin C), sodium ascorbate, phosphates,
      dextrose, synthetic dyes (i.e. Red #40)
     Linked to allergies and hyperactivity

    4. Artificial Flavours and Flavour Enhancers
     Chemicals that mimic and enhance natural flavours

        Single largest group of food additives

        Most common is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG); it
         enhances sweet, salty, bitter and sour tastes
         Causes an intolerance reaction in 1-2% of the
          population (headache, diarrhea, fatigue, chest pains
       Need  to be added because processing often
        destroys flavours
       Found in processed foods like chips, fast food, and
        flavoured soup and rice

     5. Sweeteners
      Most common flavour enhancer

      Natural sweeteners include table sugar (sucrose),

       brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and honey
      Artificial sweeteners have no calories, but taste
         Created to produce low-calorie & calorie-free
         Include Sucralose (splenda) and Aspartame

     6. Thickening and Stabilizing Agents
      Stabilizers = ingredients that keep mixtures from

       changing in form/chemical nature (i.e. pectin, gelatin,
      Thickeners enhance body and smoothness of foods

       (i.e. guar gum, xanthan gum)
         Used in ice cream, candy, yogurt, salad dressing,
          chocolate milk, syrups, snack foods, beverages,
          cheese, pop

     7. Nutrient Additives
      Vitamins/minerals added to improve nutritional value. Why?

          To add nutrients that are not found in a food(Fortification)

          Return nutrient levels found in food before storage,
           handling, and processing (Restoration)
          Add nutrients lost during processing (a larger # than
           present before processing) (Enrichment)
      Common nutrient additives are B vitamins (to grain

        products), iodine (to salt), vitamin D (to milk), vitamin C (to
        juice beverages)
     Indirect Additives

     1. Microwave Packaging
      Some products are sold in active packaging that help

       cook the food (ex. Pizza – heated on metalized
       laminated paperboard).
         Most microwave food sold in passive packaging –
          just holds food in place as it cooks.
         The containers don’t heat up much more than the
          foods. Chemicals will still migrate if the container
          gets hot enough.

     2. Dioxines
      Compounds formed during the chlorine processing

       of wood pulp during paper manufacturing
         Found in coffee filters, milk cartons, paper plates
          and frozen food packages
         Transfers to food in mins– considered to not be a
          risk to human health – but, has been linked to
          cancer in animal studies

     3. Decaffeinated Coffee
      Methylene chloride is used to remove caffeine
       from coffee beans; this process often leaves traces
       in the final product
         Is in trace amounts and you would need to drink
          large amounts to increase your cancer risk

     4. Bisphenol A (BPA)
      A chemical used in the manufacturing of hard plastic

       food containers (ex. water bottles) – also found in the
       lining of cans and box liners (the bags cereals and
       crackers come in)
      Gets into food, especially when container is heated

      Known hormone disrupter and can cause tumors, birth

       defects and developmental delays
      Declared a toxic substance and banned in use in
       baby bottles and food containers in Canada
     Concerns About Food Additives

        Long-term effects
          Nitrite and Nitrate - can form cancer causing
           chemicals when heated
          Aspartame – People have reported dizziness,
           headaches, and epileptic-like seizures
          High-Fructose Corn Syrup – linked to elevated
           cholesterol and obesity
        Food allergies and sensitivities
        Poor eating habits
        Unneeded additives - used solely for appearance
     Value of Food Additives

        Ensure a safe food supply
        Improve nutrition
           Prevent diseases caused by malnutrition
              i.e. addition of vitamin D to milk to combat
               rickets (a bone-deforming childhood disease)
        Variety in diet
           Preservatives allow for long-distance travel and
            long-term storage of food
           Colour and flavour enhancers make nutritious
            foods more appealing
     Government of Canada

        Intentional food additives are controlled and
         evaluated by Health Canada & CFIA under the Foods
         & Drugs Regulations.
        Before using a food additive, a manufacturer must:
             Submit results of safety tests
             Explain how the additive will be used
             Demonstrate the benefits of the additive to the
              consumer and product
        Studies (animal and human) evaluated for potential
         health hazards and to establish an acceptable daily
     What Can You Do??

         Read ingredient lists
         Prepare your own food
         Buy fresh foods
         Look for pre-packaged foods with few and
          simple ingredients
Can you spot the additives in this bbq sauce?
Strongly                    Strongly
Agree?                     Disagree?

    “I feel comfortable eating
    chemical food additives”.

Agree?                    Disagree?
     Which Should You Choose?
     Which Should You Choose?
     Which Should You Choose?

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