Some of us may wonder what is the purpose of adding these different elements to the food that we consume. If these elements are harmful, then why do manufacturers add them?
According to manufacturers, the purpose of using additives is to keep the food from spoiling and/or becoming contaminated. These food additives also enhance the appearance of different foods. But how safe are they? Apparently safe enough to be eaten.
Occasionally, there is a possibility that some of these elements are toxic, but not a health risk factor, in terms of amounts on a daily basis with normal usage. There are several types of additives that are to be only in foods in which the concentration levels are much below the risk level. The criteria that food manufacturers must meet are that only a small amount of additives are allowed for the safe effects, but not allowed to be used for the intent to hide products that are of poor quality, and/or to trick consumers.
This is the reason that one of the requirements of the food industry is to include food labels. These include listing food additives. The food label is suppose to ensure us, the consumers, that everything is very safe to eat. But how in the world do individuals know that these labels are deceiving?
The following are some of the most common food additives that are on our food labels:
- Preservatives such as salts and sugars. The purpose of preservatives is to keep the food lasting longer and for preservation.
- A stability additive such as antioxidants keeps the coloring, flavoring, and changes in nutrition that are caused by oxygen exposure.
In addition to these food additives, there are other types of artificial flavoring that are in our foods. Here are a few of them:
- FD&C Blue No. 1 (bright blue): This coloring is added to foods such as beverages, juices, syrups, and extract products.
- FD&C Blue No. 2 (royal blue): Royal blue is included in baking goods, cereal, ice cream, and snack foods.
- FD&C Green No. 3: This is used in foods such as puddings, ice cream, sherbet, dairy products, and candies.
- Red No. 40 (orange-red): Red is added in gelatins, beverages, and condiments.
- Yellow No. 5 (lemon yellow): Custards, ice cream, preserves are a few foods that use Yellow No. 5.
- Yellow No. 6 (orange): Yellow No. 6 is used in foods such as cereals, dessert powder, snack foods, and beverages.
Since the media exposure about food additives and its potential danger, there are many people who are in denial because this stuff has been in foods for many years without many complaints, with the exception of a red food coloring that was discontinued due to people becoming ill. But now, many of these food manufacturers are using so-called “natural” plant pigments to add the red, orange, and yellow coloring to foods as in margarine. If it is supposed to be natural, then should these foods already have its natural color? The answer is yes!