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Essay Of Food Additives


How the Additives in Food Have Negative Health Affects and How Other Areas of the World Use Natural Foods as Medicine

How the Additives in Food Have Negative Health Affects and How Other Areas of the World Use Natural Foods as Medicine


Food additives are added to food to preserve them, to improve taste or to impart color and appearance. Some form of food additives are in use from time immemorial. Sometimes the use of additives can not be ignored because without it the food will not last long. The use of additives have been increased greatly during past few years but along with its extreme use in food items a debate over its possible benefits and health risks too got interest. (Feingold, 2008)

Dangerous or threatening additives include the colorings, preservatives, flavors, flavor enhances, sweeteners, texture agents and processing agents. As you can see the list is endless Details of these must be included on the labeling and can be identified with a little knowledge and some attention to the information provided by the manufacturer. Ideally, food that has no additives at all is to be preferred and especially if it is to be used to feed children. Far too many of our young are sensitized through these additives and this can lead to allergies and such conditions as Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity.

History of Additives

When men first grew crops he need not to use additives to preserve food. The population was low and the need for food quite easily fulfilled from the available food sources. With the passage of time men learnt new techniques and population grew, as a result, men started to preserve food. For the preservation of food he used many ingredients naturally available. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans did food preservation by the help of food additives like salts, sugar and oil. Food additives used then were of natural origin. During pickling, drying meat and bacon and in preserving sweets additives were required. Vinegar was also a very common preservative as well as flavoring agent. For centuries people did not know that additives can be obtained from synthetic route too. Natural additives were not harmful for health rather they had benefits which one cannot gain from artificial additives. (Hershoff, 2009)

Adverse Effects of Additive

Some additives especially natural omnes are thought to be cafe for health others are considered to have some negative effects on health. Some additives are carcinogenic in nature, like many other synthetic products additives too are thought to have carcinogens which can increase chances of cancer. Hyperactivity is seen in many children who consistently consume processed food comntaining additives. Migrain in some people is associated with the use of additives. Asthma, skin rashes and allergies have also been associated with the use of additives. (Conners, 2009)

In recent years there has been considerable research linking some food additives to health issues including allergies, digestive complaints and behavioural issues including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). An important step in avoiding some of the health issues associated with food ...

Reading a list of additives on a food label can be bewildering. Not only is the list typically lengthy, but the names are also unfamiliar and confusing. It can feel like you're reading hieroglyphics. Although food additives are generally thought of as harmful, not all added substances are dangerous. Understanding food additive advantages and disadvantages, as well as additive types, helps you make wise food choices.

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Legally speaking, food additive refers to any substance used in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of food. A substance used for a specific purpose, such as a sweetener, is referred to as a "direct additive" and is typically listed on the food's ingredient label. Indirect food additives, on the other hand, are substances that find their way into foods in small amounts due to packaging, storage or other handling. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that food manufacturers prove a substance's safety before it is permitted to be used in contact with food.

Some additives improve or maintain the food's nutritive value. Vitamins A, C, D, E, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, calcium carbonate, zinc oxide and iron are often added to foods such as flour, bread, biscuits, breakfast cereals, pasta, margarine, milk, iodized salt and gelatin desserts. Instead of vitamin C, you may see ascorbic acid listed. Alpha-tocopherol is another name for vitamin E, and beta carotene is a source of vitamin A. In addition to providing nutrients, food additives can help reduce spoilage, improve the appearance of foods and increase the availability of a variety of foods throughout the year.

Some food additives can potentially cause harmful side effects. For example, butylated hydroxyanisole, commonly known as BHA, is a preservative used in foods including potato chips, crackers, beer, baked goods and cereal. It has been classified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a preservative "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." Sulfites, which are added to baked goods, wine, condiments and snack foods, could cause hives, nausea, diarrhea and shortness of breath in some people.

Coloring, in the form of dyes, pigments or other substances, is technically considered a food additive. These substances are often used to enhance color that's lost due to storage or processing. Pigments derived from natural sources, such as vegetables, minerals or animals, are exempt from certification. Man-made colors require testing by both the manufacturer and the FDA to ensure they meet specific guidelines for purity.

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