FOOD ADDITIVES - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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FOOD ADDITIVES 5. Propyl gallate Where it s found: Some vegetable oils, meat products, potato sticks, chicken soup base and chewing gum What it is: An antioxidant ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Any substance added to food during production,
    processing, treatment, packaging, transportation
    or storage.

Why do products have food additives?
  • To improve flavour or colour
  • To improve texture
  • To preserve (slow down speed of rotting)
  • To add nutritional value

  • Direct additives are added to a food for a
    specific purpose and are identified on the
    ingredient label of the food.
  • Indirect additives unintentionally become part of
    the food in trace amount due to its handling,
    packaging, etc.
  • Excessive levels of an additive or inclusion of
    an undeclared additive may be directly dangerous
    in some instances.

Food Manufacturers Must
  • Test food additives to show that they are safe
  • Prove the additive is needed

Create a Chart
Food Additive Important Info (look for )

Migration of Packaging
  • Plastic consists of its polymer, plasticizers,
    antistatic agents, stabilizers and antioxidants,
  • Some components are more likely to migrate into
    foods than others, esp. residual plastic monomers
    and plasticizers.
  • The plastic monomers of most health concern are
    vinyl chloride, and styrene.

  • 1. Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM)
  • The monomer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • It leaches into both water and fats.
  • Typical products that absorb VCM are bottled
    mineral water and cooking oils.
  • It also the most available for migration from the
    cling films that are used for all kinds of
  • Vinyl chloride has been identified as a liver
    carcinogen in animal models as well as in humans.
  • Acute intoxication causes depression of the
    central nervous system and hepatic damage

  • 2. Styrene
  • Styrene prefers to leach into fats.
  • Typical sources of styrene deli packaging
    (sausages, ham, smoked beef/ bacon/ fish, etc)
    and yoghurt cups.
  • Styrene-induced toxic effects include renal and
    hepatic damage, pulmonary edema, and cardiac

  • 3. Plasticizers
  • Important plasticizers in PVC plastics are the
    phthalic acid esters di-(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate
    (DEHP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP).
  • However, liver or lung damage by the leached
    plasticizers has been suggested. DEHP and DBP
    appear to be non-genotoxic carcinogens.
  • Since they are widely distributed in materials
    involved in transportation, construction,
    clothing, medicine, and packaging, the concern
    about their health effects has increased.

  • Different plastics and forms are designed for
    specific product containment situations.
  • Use of this plastic packaging in a manner other
    than that for which it was designed may cause
    significant migration of plastic compounds into
    the food.

Situation that can promote contaminants migration
  • Heating containers (by microwave oven) which are
    designed solely for chilled foods.
  • Overheating heat resistant containers.
  • Coming close to laminating leftovers covered with
    cling wrap in the microwave.
  • Following the instruction on the label /
    packaging is important!

Food Additives are shown using
  • E numbers (e.g. E440)
  • OR
  • A chemical name (e.g. pectin)
  • OR
  • Can have both

Thinking in Numbers
  • E100 series colour
  • E200 series preservatives
  • E300 series antioxidants
  • E400 series miscellaneous

Nitrates, Nitrites, and N-nitroso compounds
  • Nitrates (NO3) and nitrites (NO2) are used to
    preserve meat products, such as bacon, ham, hot
    dogs, and cold cuts.
  • The addition of nitrite can give desirable color
    to meat products (pink) and flavor, retards fat
    oxidation, and prevent bacterial growth
    (especially Clostridium botulinum).
  • Nitrites was intentionally added to meat in the
    16th or 17th century.

1. Nitrites
  • Nitrite inhibits the bacterial production by
    inhibiting certain enzymes within the microbe and
    on its cell membrane.
  • Nitrite weakens the bacterial spores, reducing
    the like-hood of germination.
  • Nitrite is very reactive and can be directly
    toxic or form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds.
  • It can oxidize blood oxyhemoglobin (ferrous form)
    to methemoglobin (ferric form).

2. Nitrates
  • Commonly found in water and vegetables,
    especially those grown with high-nitrate
  • It has low reactivity ? not toxic.
  • However, nitrate becomes a hazard when it is
    reduced to nitrite! Dietary nitrates can be
    converted to nitrites during digestion.
  • Cases of life-threatening methemoglobinemia when
    the patients diet contained too many nitrate
    sources (e.g. drinking water and spinach) within
    a short time span.

3. N-nitroso compounds
  • Nitrosamines are found in cured meat products and
    malt products (beer).
  • Another case nitrosamine in rubber baby bottle
  • Nirosamides are direct mutagen.
  • They can be decomposed at mild alkaline condition
    or destroyed by cooking.
  • The mutagenic/carcinogenic potential of nitroso
    compounds in animal models is well documented,
    but the toxicity to humans is not proven.

  • Sulfites (SO3) are used as antioxidants to
    prevent enzymatic browning, inhibit bacterial
    growth (in wine), bleaching agent, dough
    conditioner, to prevent melanosis on shrimp, and
    in the production of some food packaging.
  • They are present in the form of sulfur dioxide,
    sodium sulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sodium

  • Many foods are acidic and have sharp, sour taste
  • E.g. Lemons contain citric acid
  • E.g. Cheese and Yogourt contain lactic acid
  • Added for taste and act as a preservative
  • Found in soft drinks, desserts, jams, sweets,
    soups and sauces

  • Individuals with asthma problem are sensitive to
  • GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) since 1959,
    but then they are banned by FDA (1986) after
    reported causing some health problems when they
    used to maintain the color and crispness of the
    salad greens.
  • Sulfites sprayed onto foods produce the most
    rapid allergic reactions.
  • Sulfites can destroy thiamin ? banned by FDA to
    be used in important sources of the vitamin (e.g.
    enriched flour).

  • An important food additive for prevention of
    bacterial growth, for necessary technical reason,
    or for flavor.
  • The chemical name for salt, sodium chloride,
    reveals that sodium is in fact a component of
  • Both sodium and chloride ions are important in
    physiological processes, but excess sodium
    directly cause hypertension (high blood
    pressure), a major risk factor for heart disease,
    stroke and kidney disease.

  • The typical modern consumption of sodium is 10-20
    times the amount needed for physiological
  • Potassium containing table salt substitutes can
    cause hyperkalemia in high dose.
  • FDA limit sodium to 2400 mg daily for a 2000-
    calorie diet.
  • The best way to reduce salt intake read labels
    and make educated choices!

  • Sodium labelling defined by FDA
  • Sodium free or salt free Less than 5 mg per
  • Very low sodium 35 mg or less of sodium per
  • Low sodium 140 mg or less of sodium per serving
  • Low sodium meal 140 mg or less of sodium per 3 ½
  • Reduced or less sodium At least 25 less sodium
    than the regular version
  • Light in sodium 50 less sodium than the regular
  • Unsalted or no salt added No salt added to the
    product during processing

Nonnutritive sweeteners
  • Low calorie sweeteners, such as saccharin,
    aspartame, acesulfame.
  • Saccharin
  • It is 300 times sweeter than sugar.
  • It is not metabolized ? no calories.
  • Saccharin has low direct toxicity ? has a
  • It comes in the forms of pure saccharin, ammonium
    saccharin, calcium saccharin, and sodium

  • Aspartame
  • Approved in 1981 as artificial sweetener.
  • It is 200 times sweeter than sugar and has the
    same number of calories per teaspoonful.
  • Chronic methanol exposure can cause visual
  • Phenylalanine can interfere with amino acid
    transport and lead to nervous system disturbances
    ? only a problem in people with the rare genetic
    disease phenylketonuria (PKU) unable to
    metabolize phenylalanine properly.
  • When aspartame containing product are heated or
    stored for a long period, aspartame can be
    decomposed into diketopiperazine (DKP), a tumor

  • Stevioside
  • A natural sweetener from Stevia rebuadiana plant.
  • It is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar and have
    no calories.
  • It was used as a common sweetener in Japan
    (herbal teas) during 1980s.
  • It was banned in 1991 because of the lack of
    formal toxicological evaluation proving its
  • It is not allowed in Canada and some EU.
  • Some current studies indicate that steviol, a
    metabolite of stevioside may have toxic effect
  • Ironically, stevia is allowed as a nutritional
    supplement (FDA Import Allert 45-06, 1996).

Color additives
  • FDC color ? safe for foods, drugs and cosmetics.
  • Certified color belong to four classes azo dyes,
    triphenylmethane dyes, xanthene dyes and
    sulfonated indigo dyes.
  • Some colorants have been de-listed due to their
    carcinogenic potential

Copy down the additive and where to find it!
1. Acesulfame-potassium (aka acesulfame-K)
  • Where its found Baked goods, chewing gum,
    gelatin desserts, soft drinks, energy
    drinksWhat it is An artificial sweetener about
    200 times sweeter than sugarWhy avoid this
    additive Two animal studies suggest that this
    additive could be cancer-causing, though other
    studies say its safe. It also breaks down into a
    substanceacetoacetamidethat in large quantities
    has been found to affect the thyroid in dogs,
    rabbits and rats. Watch for it in foods that use
    sucralose, an artificial sweeteneracesulfame-pota
    ssium is often used in conjunction with it.

2. Aspartame
  • Where its found Several sugar substitute
    products an array of diet foods including sodas,
    drink mixes and low-calorie frozen desserts
    chewing gumWhat it is An artificial
    sweetenerWhy avoid this additive Controversy
    over aspartames safety has swirled since the
    '70s, when studies done on rats suggested it may
    cause brain tumours. More recent animal studies
    have now linked aspartame to lymphomas, leukemia
    and breast cancer. As well, some people show an
    acute sensitivity to aspartame, suffering
    headaches and dizziness shortly after consuming
    it. And to top it all off, not only have "diet"
    products containing aspartame not been shown to
    aid in weight loss, they may even cause you to
    eat more.

3. Sodium nitrite, also known as sodium nitrate
  • Where its found Bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch
    meats and other processed meatsWhat it is It's
    used as a preservative, as well as for flavouring
    and colouring (it stabilizes the red colour of
    cured meats, preventing them from turning grey).
    It also hinders the growth of bacteria that may
    cause botulism.Why avoid this additive Sodium
    nitrite can cause the formation of nitrosamines,
    which are cancer-causing chemicals this reaction
    occurs especially in bacon. Look for bacon
    products that contain ascorbic acid or erythorbic
    acid both are safe additives that help inhibit
    the potentially dangerous reaction.

4. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • Where its found A wide variety of processed
    foods, especially shortening and some margarines,
    deep-fried foods, cookies, baked goods and snack
    foods. Many products have shifted to using
    alternatives it's important to read labels.
    What it is A processed type of fat that helps
    increase shelf life and improves the texture of
    some processed foodsWhy avoid this additive
    The process to make partially hydrogenated
    vegetable oil creates trans fats, which may
    contribute to an increased risk of heart disease
    and diabetes. Many companies have removed or are
    in the process of removing trans fats, so there
    is almost always a trans-fat-free alternative.

5. Propyl gallate
  • Where its found Some vegetable oils, meat
    products, potato sticks, chicken soup base and
    chewing gumWhat it is An antioxidant
    preservative that keeps fats and oils from
    spoiling (oxidation causes spoilage, changes
    flavours and leads to colour loss)Why avoid
    this additive Reputable mice and rat studies
    have shown a possible cancer link. Propyl gallate
    is often used with both BHA and BHT (below).

6. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT
(butylated hydroxytoluene)
  • Where it's found Breakfast cereals, gum,
    vegetable oil, chips may also be used in food
    packaging to maintain freshnessWhat it is Like
    propyl gallate, these are antioxidants that
    prevent fats and oils from spoilingWhy avoid
    this additive Some rat, mice and hamster studies
    suggest these agents can cause cancer, while
    others show they're safe. But BHA and BHT are
    easily avoided, as many brands use safer
    packaging processes and/or safer chemicals (such
    as vitamin E), or dont use an antioxidant agent
    at all.

7. Brilliant Blue FCFC (aka Artificial Blue 1)
  • Where its found Drinks, candy, baked
    goodsWhat it is An artificial colour (see
    below) Why avoid this additive General testing
    has been inadequate, there have been some
    suggestions of a slight cancer risk.

9. Erythrosine (aka Artificial Red 3)
  • Where its found Cherries in fruit cocktail,
    candy, baked goodsWhat it is An artificial
    colour (see below) Why avoid this additive In
    the 80s, the FDA recommended the dye be banned
    after studies presented convincing evidence it
    caused thyroid tumours in rats. Its still in use

10. Sunset Yellow FCF (aka Artificial Yellow 6)
  • Where its found Some beverages, sausage, baked
    goods, candy, gelatin dessertsWhat it is An
    artificial colour (see below) Why avoid this
    additive Animal studies sponsored by the food
    industry have turned up evidence of tumours in
    the adrenal gland and kidney related to this, the
    third-most widely used dye. It may also cause
    some allergic reactions.

Are there any additives?
2. How many ingredients are present in smaller
amounts than salt? 3. What can you infer of the
food additives in relation to salt?
  • What job/function does xanthan gum (E415) have in
    food? (In particular salad dressing)
  • Pick a food item off of your food diary from any
    day. Be sure it is an item that you have access
    to the ingredients list. At home, write down all
    of the ingredients for this product and identify
    any/all of the food additives listed in the
    ingredients list.
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