Food Additives

Are Food Additives Really Safe?

What exactly are food additives? These are chemical substances that are added to food during production, processing and storage. They either become part of the food or change its characteristics for the objective of attaining a particular technical effect. It can be a natural or manufactured product such as salt for preservation and sugar for sweetening. In the recent past, safety concerns have arisen concerning food additives ranging from food dyes to trans-fats. The fear of harmful effects has lingered in the minds of people even after researchers have disproved their concerns. It should be noted that food additives undergo a rigorous scrutiny and testing before they are allowed in the market, just like all other products for human consumption. Some people say that these additives may cause weight gain while others say they can cause weight loss and other problems that are listed below in effects of food additives.

Approval for Use

Nowadays food additives undergo strict studies, testing, regulation and monitoring to ensure their safety. International organizations for example, World health organization (WHO) and Food and Agricultural organization (FAO) conduct scrutiny on food additives before they are approved. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has formulated and implemented safety standards for determining whether a food additive is safe for use. Extensive testing is done to find out whether the chemical components are in amounts that are safe for human consumption. Moreover, manufacturers of food additives have the responsibility of proving to FDA before they are released into the market.

Supplements Have Additives In Them

One of the biggest areas where you can find additives is in the many supplements that are on the market. Weight loss products are probably the worst ones when it comes to additives. Many weight loss products have been removed from the market because the additives have been found to be unsafe. Many of the banned additives have been traced back to China. It seems that they have just changed the banned additive slightly so it is no longer on the banned list. One natural ingredient that seems to work for weight loss is garcinia cambogia. It has been used for thousands of years and it looks like it has stood the test of time and will probably not get banned. A company called Youngevity has the weight loss product called Body Trim that contains garcinia cambogia. Many other companies also has products that contain this natural fruit in it. So far it seems to work for many people when it comes to weight loss.

Effects of Food Additives

Food additives have not been known to produce any life threatening effects. However, in rare cases some individuals react negatively to substances present in food additives. Some people with asthma may react to sulfates used in preventing certain foods from browning. A relatively small number of people estimated at one of every ten thousand may develop sensitivity to FD&C Yellow # 5, which is used as a food color, causing hives and itching. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) often used in Chinese foods may also cause unpleasant reactions in a small number of people. Symptoms are usually mild and include body warmth or tingling, as well as chest pains. These symptoms usually last for under an hour, and there is no cause for concern.

There are some persons with a rare genetic disorder referred to as phenylketouria (PKU). They are advised to avoid consuming food sweetened using aspartame. It consists of two amino acids, one of which is phenylalanine. People with PKU cannot metabolize phenylalanine and if they consume it, they experience adverse side effects such as tissue damage. It is recommended for individuals who experience unpleasant side effects due to food additives to read labels carefully to avoid the irritant substances. If persistent and undesirable reactions occur, it is advisable to seek the attention of a physician. Some food additives help with weight loss while others have a reverse effect.

General Safety Of Food Additives

There is no cause for concern that food additives can cause medically threatening effects. They all have to be proven scientifically and medically to have no ill effect for humans. The same applies for natural additives since they also contain substances that may be unfavorable to certain individuals on rare occasions. Therefore, the idea that natural food additives are safer than artificial one should not arise.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License