Common food additives in ten kinds of food can help you understand what you are eating
What is food additive? As the name implies, some additional substances that do not belong to food are added in the food on the premise of keeping the freshness of the food or improving the appearance and taste of the food. Since the state allows some food additives to exist, they must also undergo strict testing, and will not cause harm to human body within a certain dosage range. So on the premise of * * consumer health, the state has made quite strict regulations on food additives.
What are the common food additives in our daily life? What adverse health effects will be caused by excessive consumption? Today we will talk about food additives. The content of the article may be a little long. It is suggested to collect it first for later use.
1. Sodium glutamate (monosodium glutamate)
This kind of additive was popular earlier, because it can improve the fresh taste of the food, and it will be useful for every household when cooking.
However, with the improvement of people's health awareness, many families no longer use this condiment. Instead, it is chicken essence coated with starch. In fact, the essence of chicken essence is monosodium glutamate, but other additives are added on the basis of monosodium glutamate, such as chicken powder, salt, flavoring nucleotides, etc.
Both monosodium glutamate and chicken essence are safe, but if they are consumed in excess, they may really cause health risks, because they contain a lot of sodium ions. If they are consumed in excess, they will easily affect the balance of other elements in the body and affect normal metabolism.
Before the baby is one year old, parents should not give the baby MSG, chicken essence, salt and other condiments to avoid affecting the baby's health.
The consumption of monosodium glutamate in infants and young children has the following effects:
First, it is not conducive to forming good eating habits
Second, it is easy to affect physical development;
Although there is no problem with the safety of monosodium glutamate (chicken essence), sodium glutamate contains a lot of sodium ions after all. Excessive intake of sodium will undoubtedly increase the risk of hypertension, stomach cancer and other problems, so it must be added in a limited amount when eating.
For people with high blood pressure level in the body, it is not appropriate to take monosodium glutamate and chicken essence, otherwise it is easy to increase the content of sodium, which is not conducive to the stability of blood pressure. Especially the elderly and people with abnormal metabolism should pay more attention. Pregnant women should not eat it, which may aggravate the phenomenon of body edema.
The main function of monosodium glutamate and chicken essence is to improve the flavor. Usually, it can also be replaced by its own delicious ingredients, such as corn, chicken, mushrooms, shrimp and other ingredients.
2. Artificial edible pigment
This is widely used in some desserts, sweets and drinks to make the food look better.
Food pigments can be divided into natural food pigments and artificial synthetic pigments
Most natural food pigments are extracted from natural food materials, for example, most of them are extracted from vegetables and fruits. Green vegetables, eggplants, tomatoes, such as monascus, chlorophyll, curcumin, carotene, etc. are beneficial to health.
However, compared with artificial pigments, natural pigments are relatively expensive and vulnerable to environmental impact, especially "natural blue", which is more unstable and prone to discoloration due to acid and alkali changes. So there is a cheaper and more stable synthetic pigment.
Synthetic pigments are more colorful because they are prepared by chemical reagents. However, this kind of pigment may not be very friendly to health. If abused, there may be the following risks:
It is easy to cause food poisoning. The mild symptoms may include skin allergy and diarrhea, while the severe symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, even dizziness, dyspnea, etc. All symptoms must be treated and controlled in time.
It has certain carcinogenicity. Some artificial pigments contain arsenic and lead, which will cause serious damage to human organs, even lead to infertility and increase the risk of cancer.
Artificial pigment will cause irreversible damage to children's health, inhibit brain development, cause disorders in brain nerve conduction of children, and affect the development of intelligence; It interferes with normal metabolism, affects the detoxification function of the liver and the excretion function of the kidney. So when choosing snacks for children, we must see the food ingredients clearly.
The main representative substance is sodium nitrite, which is similar in appearance and taste to table salt. It is a food additive and can be used as a color protector and preservative in meat products. The General Rules for the Use of Food Additives clearly stipulates that the residual amount of nitrite in meat products should not exceed 30 mg/kg.
Nitrite can make meat products bright red, and it also has antiseptic effect, which can inhibit the growth and reproduction of various anaerobic clostridium, especially clostridium botulinum, and prevent bacterial poisoning caused by eating meat. Therefore, nitrite is widely used in meat processing.
Excessive ingestion of nitrite can lead to poisoning, nausea, vomiting, abdominal colic, diarrhea and other phenomena. In severe cases, convulsion, coma, incontinence, and death due to respiratory failure. This is only one aspect of its toxicity. What is more dangerous is that it can react with secondary ammonia to produce nitrosamines with strong carcinogenic effect on animals. Epidemiological investigation shows that many human cancers, such as gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer and bladder cancer cancer, may be related to nitrosamines.
This substance also exists in a large amount in pickled foods, such as pickled meat, bacon and salted fish; Many pickles and pickles also contain high content of nitrite; Eat more fruits and vegetables, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can inhibit the synthesis of nitrosamines. Therefore, we should take more fresh vegetables and fruits with high vitamin C content, such as kiwi, orange, fresh jujube, hawthorn, green pepper, etc.
4. Guar gum
It is a relatively common food thickener. It is widely used in dairy products, ice cream, condiments, and baked goods in the food industry.
Because guar gum is extracted from guar beans and contains a large amount of dietary fiber, relevant research shows that it is helpful to improve intestinal health. As a soluble fiber, it can slow down the absorption of sugar, and to a certain extent, it is helpful to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the blood; A study showed that guar gum can reduce appetite and caloric intake, and developed a weight loss product based on this. However, because the product contains a large amount of guar gum, it will expand to dozens of times in the stomach, resulting in obstruction of the esophagus and small intestine, and even some people were killed and stopped.
Therefore, the relevant foreign food safety agencies explicitly prohibit the use of guar gum in weight-loss products. Of course, this is due to the use of excessive doses. Relevant studies found that when the added dose is not more than 15g, there is no obvious side effect.
5. Corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener in carbonated drinks and fruit drinks, such as Coca-Cola. Fructose is the sweetest of the natural sugars we often ingest. Its sweetness index is 1.7. The sweetness index of honey, sucrose, and glucose were 1.1, 1, and 0.75, respectively.
Most high-fructose corn syrups are genetically modified corn. Through the catalysis of enzymes, part of the glucose in corn starch is converted into fructose, forming a mixed syrup with glucose and fructose. Because the production cost of using catalysis is very low, and the sweetness of corn fructose obtained is higher than that of sucrose, it is often used by the processing food industry to replace sucrose and add drinks, ice cream and desserts as artificial sweeteners.
Relevant studies have shown that long-term high fructose intake may lead to obesity and increase the risk of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
6. Artificial sweetener
The sweetening of corn syrup still needs a lot of costs, so in order to further reduce costs, scientists have developed a sweetener instead of corn syrup. These sweeteners are only used to cheat your tongue. They have nothing to do with sugar. For example, aspartame, sorbitol, xylitol, sucralose, saccharin, and potassium acetylsulfonate. Remember these names. These in the formula represent sweeteners, which are used to increase the sweetness.
These sweeteners can be divided into nutritional sweeteners and non-nutritional sweeteners according to whether they produce heat.
Nutritional sweetener: Although it can produce heat, the heat produced is much lower than that of sucrose. The common ones are xylitol, sorbitol, and fucosol, which are often added to chewing gum or other foods.
Non-nutritional sweeteners: They do not produce heat after eating. They are artificial sweeteners developed by the laboratory. Their sweetness is usually tens or hundreds of times that of sucrose. For example, the early sweetener saccharin and the commonly heard aspartame belong to this category. They are common in preserves, drinks, snacks, etc.
Many sugar-free drinks are advertised, but they still have sweet taste, that is, they are added with relevant sweeteners. Compared with traditional sucrose and fructose, they have no or little calories, so they can reduce the intake of calories to a certain extent, which is helpful for people who lose weight.
Carrageenan is the secret of keeping ice cream in high temperature. Carrageenan itself is a thickener from natural algae such as carrageenan and eucheuma, and is a food additive widely used in the food industry. Common uses include almond milk, cheese, ice cream, coffee cream and vegan cheese to fake dairy products. It is widely used in making ice-cream, jelly, soft candy, canned food, tremella bird's nest, soup food, etc., to improve the viscosity and taste of food.
At present, the amount of carrageenan specified in the standard of infant milk powder in China is not more than 0.3 grams per liter (after mixing). This limit is consistent with that of the EU, but the difference is that the EU does not allow carrageenan to be used in infants under 4 months of age. Although many foods use it, the amount is not large, and the total intake is actually very low, so we need not worry too much.
8. Sodium benzoate and other preservatives
Sodium benzoate has the function of inhibiting the proliferation of bacteria, mold, yeast and other microorganisms. Because it is easy to dissolve in water, it is often used in products with high water content. But if it becomes alkaline, its function will be weakened, so it is mostly used in acidic food.
For the sake of toxicity, some countries, such as Japan, have stopped producing sodium benzoate and restricted its use. Benzoate preservatives (sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate) can react with vitamin C to produce carcinogenic benzene.
Sodium benzoate is harmful to human body because it reacts with stomach acid in human body to form benzoic acid. Benzoic acid has certain toxicity, and long-term consumption will cause chronic benzene poisoning. The main symptoms of chronic benzene poisoning are neurasthenia, such as headache, dizziness, memory loss, insomnia, fatigue, etc; At the same time, patients will also have leukopenia, and serious cases will cause aplastic anemia.
Benzoic acid and its salts are clearly highly toxic and difficult to metabolize, and will accumulate in the body. At the same time, the state clearly does not recommend their use and is gradually restricting their use (for example, jelly products are now clearly not allowed to be added). Why do many enterprises still prefer to use sodium benzoate instead of potassium sorbate with high safety.
It's very simple, because sodium benzoate is cheap, and it can be about 3 times cheaper in general market. At the same time, the storage cost and feeding requirements of potassium sorbate are higher than those of sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is only used by enterprises to save money and trouble.
9. Trans fat
This is some fake cream, and in fried food, in order to make the food look better and taste crispy, if you find some snacks are too crispy, you should pay attention to them, and remember these names: hydrogenated vegetable oil, semi-hydrogenated vegetable oil, artificial yellow (milk) oil, artificial vegetable yellow (milk) oil, artificial fat, shortening or vegetable fat powder, fresh milk cream, vegetable fat cream, and margarine (margarine). Remember, most of these are trans fatty acids.
Research shows that high intake of trans fatty acids can increase low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), reduce high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol), increase the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, affect children's growth and development and nervous system health, and may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
10. Edible essence
The purpose of using food flavor essence in food is to make food produce, change or improve food flavor. Spices for food are generally prepared into edible essence for food flavoring, and some can also be directly used for food flavoring.
There are too many kinds of edible essence. Let's take a look at the list of foods that are not allowed to add essence.
To sum up: proper additives are harmless to human body. In a single food, the content of additives is allowed as long as it meets the national standards, so there is no need to panic about food additives.
What we should pay attention to is the superposition and accumulation of different foods and additives. So when you buy food, you must learn to look at the ingredients list. On the one hand, you can buy healthier food. On the other hand, you can see whether the food you buy is worth it or not. You are afraid to spend a lot of money to buy cheap "technology and hard work".
The article is relatively long. It is recommended to collect it for future reference. If you like my column, please pay attention to it. We also welcome you to actively help forward, so that friends around me can learn more about food and health-related knowledge. Your support is my motivation for creation.