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Effects of Food Additives on Human Health

Sunday, October 23, 2016 16:17
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Nowadays almost every food material being ingested by humans has food additives in it, mostly they are said to increase the nutritional content of our food but some additives have recently been found to affect our health.

If you worry about the things that you ingest then it would be your habit to check out the ingredients while buying any food item but most of us do not chemistry so we are not really sure what are we going taking in our food. We do not the effect of approved food additives on our health.Always eat fresh and clean to stay healthier.

Food Additives

As the name indicates, food additive is something we are taking in addition with our natural food. More technically, it is mostly something being added to change the taste or to preserve the food item. These can be vitamins and minerals to change the taste, color, odor and texture of the food to make it more commercially viable and marketable. Any substance or chemical cannot be used as a food additive until unless it has been approved by the federal drug authority or department of agriculture for use by general public.

Regulations for Food Additives

In 1958, an amendment in law for FDA laid down following rules for the regulation of food additives

  • Those food additives that are already in use i.e. before 1958 will continue to be in use and no further research or reviews will be conducted to check their effects on human health. Many health groups have an issue with the use of salts like potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate but they have been in use for the preservation of meats for a very long time,
  • GRAS: Generally recognized as Sade. Many additives like different kinds of salts, sweeteners and baking soda are considered safe although they have been tested by any methods.
  • Before any food additive is approved, FDA will find out its chemical structure and its effects on human health by its long term and short term use. After testing FDA will set the limit of use of that particular additive.

Different Food Additives have different effects on different people:

What is the assurance that one food additive which has no bad health effect on a person will have no bad effect on all of us? Like we see in different fields of science, with new discovery and experiments, old theories change then why are not we following the same procedure in the field of food science. Why with new discoveries and studies on health effects we do not change the approved food preservatives and chemicals in our food materials?

Sulfites for example have been in use for many years, they were sprayed on fresh foods to prevent discoloration and even on salads by restaurant managers until we came to know their effects on human health. Sulfites caused asthma attacks and even death in some cases, they were then banned to used and now we label foods that came into contact with sulfites, then why cannot we use review the additives already in use and deemed safe.


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