Top 10 disgusting FOOD ADDITIVES we EAT!
What are FOOD ADDITIVES? Why do we add them to our food? What are the top 10 disgusting food additives we knowingly or unknowingly consume? Let us understand.
What are FOOD ADDITIVES & why are they required?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), FOOD ADDITIVES are substances that are added to food to maintain or improve the safety, freshness, taste, texture, or appearance of food. Food additives like salt, sugar, honey, vinegar etc. have been in use since centuries. In recent years, the food additives industry has seen a boom because of the packaged & processed food industry.
We have gone a bit too far in pursuit of lowering the cost of production, enhancing flavour & texture, boosting aroma, increasing shelf life etc.
FOOD ADDITIVES may be of natural or artificial origin and need to be tested for their health effects.
Here are the top 10 disgusting FOOD ADDITIVES we eat:
No. 1 - Boiled Bugs:
Boiled cochineal beetles have a bright red colour which is why they are used for colouring in a variety of foods including ice creams, candies, fruit juice, flavoured yoghurt, pastries etc. In the ingredient list, it is usually denoted as cochineal extract or natural red 4.
No. 2 - Antibiotics & Hormones:
The commonly administered animal antibiotics & hormones end up in our stomach. Meat, eggs and dairy have traces of antibiotics & hormones that end up in the food chain. Much of the effects of antibiotics & hormones are not known but early studies indicate these can have disastrous long-term side effects on human health.
No. 3 - Sand:
Sand is also called as Silicon Dioxide. It is used as a flow agent/ anticaking agent helping to absorb humidity and avoid clumping. It is commonly mixed with salt, spices, tastemakers, instant noodles, soup etc.
No. 4 - Beaver Castoreum:
Beaver castoreum is a flavouring substance that is extracted from the scent glands located near the anus of a beaver. It is extensively used in candies and ice creams and is legally allowed to be labelled at natural flavouring substance (without mentioning any more details).
No. 5 - Silicone Fillers:
We have heard of silicone implants for breasts but these are silicon implants for nuggets! Many chicken nugget producers use dimethylpolysiloxane as a key ingredient for producing chicken nuggets. It helps to get the nugget shape, increase weight and volume.
No. 6 - Burnt Sawdust:
Also known as liquid smoke, it is created by burning sawdust and capturing the components in oil or water. It gives a smoky flavour to food and is commonly found in barbecue sauces, potato chips, nachos, bread etc.
No. 7 - Saltwater Injections:
Saltwater along with a variety of other ingredients like monosodium glutamate are routinely injected into meat to increase weight & volume. It also helps in enhancing the flavour. It is also called Chicken Broth or plumping.
No. 8 - Gelatin:
The jiggle and wobble in a jelly come from collagen. Collagen is a thickening agent and is found in animal skins. Gelatin is derived from collagen extracted from animal body parts. It is commonly found in jellies, candies, yoghurts etc.
No. 9 - Arsenic:
Arsenic, a known carcinogen (linked to lung cancer) is added in beverages to prevent clouding. Beverages like beer, wine, fruit juice etc. are known to contain added arsenic.
No. 10 - Bisphenol A or BPA:
BPA, also a known carcinogen, is commonly used in sealants of soda cans, juice cans, puree/ paste packs and packaged bottles. It occasionally comes in contact with the liquid inside and gets mixed with it.
Now we know the top 10 disgusting FOOD ADDITIVES we knowingly or unknowingly consume.