Pure nature is so good, why did humans invent food additives?

In reality, when it comes to food additives, most people will think of "clenbuterol, Sudan stain", etc. However, clenbuterol is a drug and Sudan stain is a chemical stain. Both are not food additives, but illegal additives. Today, let's talk about the changes that real food additives have brought to human life.

What are food additives?

Real food additives refer to chemically synthesized or natural substances added to food to improve its quality, color, aroma, and taste, as well as to meet the needs of preservation and processing technology.

The use of food additives in China has a history of thousands of years. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Chinese people began using salt brine as a coagulant to make tofu, and "brine" was essentially a food additive.

Modern processed food is more difficult to leave without food additives, which can significantly enhance the antioxidant capacity of food and prevent rapid spoilage. For example, preservatives can extend the shelf life of food while also preventing food poisoning caused by microbial contamination.

Food additives can also improve the color, odor, and taste of food, enhancing appetite.

What are the common types of food additives?

Food additives include both natural food additives and chemically synthesized additives. At present, there are 23 types of food additives allowed to be used in China, with over 2400 types.

Common food additives in daily life mainly include:

1. Preservatives: commonly used are Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, sulfur dioxide, lactic acid, etc.

2. Antioxidants: Commonly used include vitamin C, allovitamin C, etc.

These two types of food additives mainly extend the shelf life of food.

3. Colorants: Common synthetic pigments include carmine, amaranth, Tartrazine, indigo, etc.

4. Leavening agent: commonly used Leavening agent includes sodium bicarbonate, Ammonium bicarbonate, composite Leavening agent, etc. Usually added to some candies and chocolates, it can promote the production of carbon dioxide in the sugar body, thereby playing a role in swelling.

5. Sweeteners: commonly used artificial sweeteners include saccharin sodium, Cyclamate, etc.

6. Sour agent: commonly used citric acid, Tartaric acid, Malic acid, lactic acid, etc.

7. Spices: There are both synthetic and natural flavors, with many flavors.

8. Thickener and stabilizer: starch, gelatin, Xanthan gum gum, soy protein gum, natural rubber, lanolin, agar are common. It can improve or stabilize the physical properties of cold drink foods by keeping frozen foods such as ice cream in a soft and loose organizational structure for a long time.

These six types of food additives are designed to give food more flavor, better taste, and better sensory experience.

Demonized 'additives'

People usually believe that food safety incidents caused by food additives are actually caused by the use of illegal additives or excessive use of food additives.

For example, adding additives for industrial production in food. For example, ham soaked in pesticides, red duck eggs with Sudan stain red, Rice noodles with sodium hypochlorite, milk powder with melamine, etc. are all illegal additives added to food.

There are strict regulations on whether and how much each food additive can be used in food. As long as it is a food additive that meets the standards and is used within the standard range, food additives are safe.

Is food without "food additives" in the ingredient list better? This matter needs to be viewed in two ways. For example, adding vitamin C from antioxidants to food can not only protect other ingredients in the food, but also compensate for the loss of vitamin C caused by some food processing processes.

On the other hand, food without preservatives has more stringent storage conditions and shelf life. Improper storage can lead to food safety issues caused by microbial contamination.

Post time: 2023/7/5 15:02:56