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Friday, September 16, 2011

Understanding food additives

The term food additives, became popular in the community after many found to contain formaldehyde and borax in a number of processed food products. The findings were made public began to be aware of the existence of hazardous substances at a number of food additives.

Several chemicals are not for food such as formalin, borax, and some textile dyes, it will harm health if consumed. But the actual progress of science and food technology actually intentionally creating additives for food / drink that will give added value to the food.

Additives for food, can be defined as substances that are deliberately mixed or added to the product of a food / beverage during the production process, packaging, or storage with a specific purpose. This specific intent may include:
  1. To maintain the taste, aroma, and appearance of foods that often experience changes when food is processed or packaged. Example: monosodium glutamate (MSG), as a flavor enhancer to keep the taste of food, or to taste saccharin sweet. Isoamil acetate as an addition to the smell of bananas in a few foods that smell is often lost during processing, or isoamil valerate as an addition to the odor of apples, as well as some synthetic dyes to enhance the color of the food that is often fade during processing such as sunset yellow FCF and so on.
  2. To create a durable food, nonperishable (as preservative), namely by preventing and inhibiting the processes of fermentation, acidification, or decomposition by microorganisms against these foods. Example: benzoic acid, sodium nitrate.
  3. To prevent or inhibit the oxidation processes or processes that involve oxygen, light / heat, and the reaction of some heavy metals, such as the browning reaction in apple fruit flesh. This substance is also called antioxidants. Example: anol butyl hydroxy (ABH).
  4. To assist in the formation or stabilization of a homogeneous dispersion system in a particular food. Known also as an emulsifier, pemantap, or developer. Example: agar-agar.
  5. As a bleach and flour embankment. This substance serves to accelerate the bleaching process or maturation of flour so it can fix the temperature of roasting. Example: ascorbic acid.
  6. Acidity regulator. These substances can regulate the degree of acidity of a food. Example: acetic acid.
  7. Anti clumping. These substances can prevent the clumping of food in the form of a powder. Example: aluminum silicate to milk powder.
  8. Hardener. These substances may harden or soften the food. Example: aluminum ammonium sulfate in the pickle bottle.
  9. Sekuestran, which are substances that can function bind metal ions present in food. Example: phosphoric acid.
  10. Nutritional enhancer. This substance is added to increase the nutritional value of certain foods, which are often lost during the production process, or to raise the quality of a product. Example: amino acids, minerals, or some vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, ascorbic acid, and so on.

Food additives. (Picture from: http://www.choice.com.au/)
Regarding these additives, which additives are permitted to be used in food / drink can be seen on the regulations set by agencies of the state regulate it.

When viewed from the source, these additives can be derived from natural sources such as lecithin, citric acid, and others. Or can also be synthesized from chemicals that have similar properties to 50 kg body weight for Indonesia, and other developing countries. ADI is a unit of food additives mg per kg body weight. Example: the maximum ADI for B-carotene = 2.50 mg / kg, turmeric (turmerin) = 0.50 mg / kg and benzoic acid and its salts = 0.5 mg / kg. To calculate the maximum usage limit, you can use the formula:

BPM = ADI x W x 1.000 / K (mg / kg)
where, BPM = maximum usage limit (mg / kg) W = weight (kg) and K = weight in food consumption (g).

Example: Calculate the BPM of additives which have the ADI of 2 mg daily for the consumption of foods containing the substance with a weight of 1 kg food (1.000 g) for someone who weighs 60 kg. The result can be calculated as follows:

BPM = ADI x W x 1.000 / K
= 2 x 60 x 1.000/1.000
= 120 mg / kg.

So limit the use of additives that have a maximum value of the ADI of 2 mg to 1.000 grams of food consumed by a person weighing 60 kg, is 120 mg / kg.

It should be noted, that the smaller the weight of a person's body, then the fewer additives that can be accepted by the body .*** [Y. ZAKIAH | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 15092011]
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