Are Preservatives in Food Bad for You? What you Need to Know

Are Preservatives in Food Bad for You,  For our irreplaceable enemies in food

Chemical preservatives

Chemical preservatives are the most common and most relevant sports. They meet the standard. Each add-on has its own identification number. If approved by the European Community, the number shall be preceded by an “E”. There is a homogenization of European legislation in each of the member states. This means that they are evaluated on the basis of advanced research that ensures that there is no risk to the health of the consumer, even if they are taken throughout his life.

There are estimates created for the purposes of these laws. The evaluations are international and are performed by competent institutions such as the WHO (World Health Organization), FAO (Food Organization), Codex Alimentarius (International Food Organization), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others. The use of additives by Bulgarian manufacturers is controlled by the State Sanitary Control. In principle, there is some regional freedom, but supplements with E are rather subject to general conditions. These include mandatory presence on food labels of additives, but optional labeling of fruits, vegetables and raw meat, which may also contain such preservatives.

Some preservatives can be used alone or in combination with other food preservation methods. The activity of preservatives is usually antimicrobial – they inhibit the growth of bacteria or fungi, including mold, or they can be antioxidants, such as oxygen absorbers, which prevent the oxidation of nutrients. In general, they prevent bacterial spoilage of products.

Preservatives used for home use are sorbic acid and its salts, benzoic acid and its salts, calcium propionate, sodium nitrite (and sodium nitrate, which is converted to sodium nitrite “in situ”), sulfites (sulfur dioxide, sodium bisulf potassium hydrogen sulfite, etc. Sulfur compounds slow down, prevent growth and kill bacteria simultaneously) and disodium EDTA, as well as sodium benzoate.

We often find preservatives in “unforeseen places” in stores. For example, many preservatives may contain soluble soups, crab rolls. Raw meat is treated with preservatives for “freshness and good appearance” after its first day in the window or in the freezer. Some fruits and sausages also contain preservatives. However, in some foods, such as dairy, preservatives are a “necessary evil” because they protect against pathogenic bacteria.

Natural preservatives

Chemical preservatives can be contrasted with the group of natural preservatives. These include rosemary, hop extract, salt, sugar, vinegar, alcohol, diatomaceous earth and castor oil. They have no different idea than that they are more familiar and natural to the body and the risks of taking them are reduced. Natural spices such as lemon juice or citrus juices may also have limited preservative activity, and in some cases vitamins C and E also replace preservatives.

These preservatives are widely used even with others as a helper. In some cases, they are undesirable for reasons other than preservatives – for example, there are almost no dried fruits on the market without a high sugar content as a preservative, but this is often disguised for marketing reasons under a label such as “natural date”, for example. And when we talk about bulk, the problem is indistinguishable, but the logic is simple: real dried fruits are produced expensively and in very small quantities, the rest are treated. The chance of coming across a non-native dried fruit (such as kiwi, pineapple, etc.) that is untreated is almost zero – negligible.

Other food preservation technologies

To keep food from spoiling, the ancients found ways to preserve it with aids. Such are drying and freezing. Food dehydration – a process known as dehydration – works well with fruits, herbs, some meats and some vegetables. The Incas combined the processes, first freezing the potatoes, then thawing and drying them to obtain an extremely weather-resistant, wearable and food product. Smoking introduces antioxidants into meat or fish, and some spices used to flavor foods, such as curry and hot peppers, contain antimicrobial compounds.

Harm and benefit

In principle, preservatives are not deadly in themselves. For most preservatives, the problems come from long-term use, and in rare cases – from allergies, manifested immediately. However, it is accepted that while allergies affect a small percentage of the population and are in themselves another health problem waiting to manifest, long-term use of preservatives is capable of harming a healthy body in the long run. An FDA study ranked sulfites and benzoates as the highest allergens.

For this reason, health organizations impose “acceptable norms for the intake of preservatives per day.” However, it is the consumer himself who is responsible for monitoring these standards, who may feel warned about the labels and the publication of the standards. However, as hardly anyone uses it effectively, it is wise to replace canned with as many fresh products from a reliable source as possible.

There are a number of hypotheses about the interaction of preservatives in the body, especially in medicine. While phenylanine is thought to damage nerve cells, some common preservatives, such as sodium benzoate, suggest that its interaction with fluoride may lead to better absorption of fluoride by teeth and a higher degree of anti-caries protection. Beyond the problem of preservatives is always the problem of potential not very successful canning, which in itself is also a big threat.

How to protect yourself?

The main guidelines are already set: look for more raw foods from a natural source. Having a choice of vegetables and meat, for example, implies that you always choose Bulgarian when you have no other information about the product. Wash raw products that you are not sure about well with water. Create a group of at least a few dangerous preservatives to watch for on the labels, and once you get used to it, you can expand the group. If circumstances allow, try to create your own production.

Today, preservatives are all around us, and in fact on the market we are in a constant “preservative chaos” – we do not know what we buy, what we mix it with and how it can interact. Don’t fall into a phobia, just judge and choose for yourself a working principle of protection that you can trust. Preservatives are not an insurmountable enemy, our body will always get a number of harmful additives, it is important that this is properly regulated and planned so that the body can easily cope with a slight stress factor.

Are Preservatives in Food Bad for You ?

Sources used for Are Preservatives in Food Bad for You :

  1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006. Russell, N. J., and G. W. Gould. Food Preservatives, 2nd ed. New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, 2003
  2. .

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