Published: 10/14/2007 - Updated: 03/29/2014
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
The preservatives or additives are organic or inorganic substances which are added to foods with the intent not only to preserve the storage time of food, but also in order to improve its texture, appearance, flavor, color and vitamin content.
We found such substances in various forms:
Nutritional additives: many of the most common foods like milk, cereal, flour, margarine, bread, biscuits, etc., have added with vitamins and minerals to supplement their lack in the diet of a person or to justify its loss in processing. Such fortification and enrichment has helped, in some cases, to reduce malnutrition. These additives provide the food of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, calories.
Preservatives: retard deterioration and rotting of food due to the action of microorganisms. They are antimicrobial substances that inhibit, delay or prevent the proliferation of bacteria, yeasts and molds. The sulfated compounds are used to avoid the appearance of bacteria in foods and beverages such as wine, dried fruit and vegetables in vinegar or brine. Among these substances are often the sorbic acid, that its application is intended to keep the products prepared from potato, cheese, milk and jam. Nitrates (or nitrite) represent another group of substances used as preservatives in meat products and sausages in order to protect them from bacteria. Benzoic acid and its salts of calcium, sodium and potassium function as antibacterial and antifungal agents in products such as gherkins in vinegar, jams and jellies low in sugar. All preservative substances prevent early microbial decay, deterioration of the food and chemical control of insect pests and rodents. Antioxidants are preservatives that also prevent the fats and oils in foods and other foods that are baked and lose their flavor. It also prevents the shelled fruits such as peach, banana, apple, etc. becoming brown when exposed to air.
Coloring: change the color, and can be natural or artificial coloring.
Flavorings: are those that increase the quality of taste, and may be synthetic or natural.
Texturing chemicals: These affect the functional properties of food and give them texture and pleasing appearance. Emulsifiers give products a consistent texture and prevent the separation. Stabilizers and thickeners give smooth texture, uniform. Anticoagulant agents help substances such as salt to flow freely
Waxes; chemicals to control humidity.
Some of the preservatives or common chemicals in most processed foods are:
Acetic acid, citric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate, monosodium glutamate, nitrites, sulfur dioxide, sodium aluminum sulfate, calcium sulfate, lard, sulfur dioxide, aspartame, etc..
Food and chemical additives
Most processed and packaged foods in some way contain some type of additive. It is important in any system of nutrition, that we are aware of what enters the body in an indirect way. Checking labels before you buy something is important because one can discover interesting components in what is being consumed. For example, you can find your favorite rye bread has sugar or chemical additives.
Sugar, salts and dangerous disinfectants
Most processed foods contain sugar in some way masked. Words ending “ose” have hidden sugar or refer to chemical elements that are similarly structured as harmful as sugar. Within these elements we find glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose, levulose, honey corn, sucrose, etc. In the salts are sodium chloride, sodium iodate, sodium glutamate and sodium nitrite.
A disinfectant is actually a poison which eliminates parasitic organisms. Consuming small doses is not dangerous, but the consumption of large quantities or consuming them daily can cause severe consequences in the body. Among the most hazardous disinfectants are silver chloride, chlorine and potassium iodide.
Effect of additives and preservatives in health
It is worth mentioning that all additives used in accepted doses, one could say that are harmless. However, here we mention some additives that can debilitate or malnourish a bodie.
Ethyl: we find it easily in mayonnaise, mustard, tomato sauec, dressings for meats, canned seafood, marzipan, vegetable-based foods, pastries. EFFECTS: These are substances that produce allergies compared to other additives.
Sulfur dioxide or sulfur dioxide: it is usually very little and is not declared on the label. The following foods contain it: fruit juice, jams, vinegars, pastries. EFFECTS: These are addictive substances
Sodium nitrite or nitrate: is found essentially all sausage, black pudding, cheese, canned seafood (anchovies, herring, octopus, ceviches). PURPOSE: to combine easily with food substances generates n dangerous nitrosamines, potentially carcinogenic substances, that can trigger all kinds of allergies. In infants it can block the transport of oxygen producing cyanosis.
Propionic acid: we find it mainly in the bakery later processed and re-packed. EFFECTS: In rats, it fed high doses developed tumors.
Sulfites and derivatives: meat, wine and various foods. EFFECTS: sulfites appear safe for most people. However, it appears that in some populations is developed shortness of breath or fatal shock shortly after exposure to these preservatives. Sulfites can cause severe asthma attacks in asthmatics sensitive to sulfites. It destroys vitamin B1. In the meat, it is not acceptable because it could mask a poor quality.
Glutamate: is very common to enhance the flavor to meals like soups, sauces, broths and canned food. EFFECTS: its abuse can lead to intolerance in susceptible individuals.
Tartrazine: is an artificial dye, which is commonly found in soft drinks, jelly, ice cream, candy, desserts, processed. EFFECTS: You can create all sorts of allergic reactions and irritation in the stomach. It causes fewer on one of 10,000 people. By law, it should be listed on the label.
BHA and BHT: these artificial antioxidants are suspected to enhance the action of some carcinogens.
In the current lifestyle may seem impossible to eat only food harvested from the garden. However, the most suitable for this alternative approach is to consume organic products and try to get fresh and natural products as possible.
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