Food Additives – What They Are, Types and Risks
Food additives are present in all processed foods. Nowadays, it is difficult to find a person who does not consume these foods, so we can say that all of us, even not realizing it, consume these additives.
Food preservatives, as they are also known, serve to improve the appearance, taste and even to prolong the validity of these products. We are so accustomed to simply eating these foods that we do not question whether they can bring any harm to our health.
Have you ever wondered why the food on the shelves of markets has such a long shelf life? Pay attention the next time you buy something. Look at the manufacturing date and expiration date of some processed food and think of the amount of chemicals it needs to have to last so long without spoiling.
It has been thinking about this that we have made a list of which are the most common types of food additives and we will discuss a little more about the purpose of each, what they are, what they are for and if they can bring some risk to our health.
Food Additives: What are they?
There is a wide variety of food preservatives, each with its function inside an industrialized product. They are added to return the original characteristics that the food lost when being processed or even to change some new feature. The most common are those used to conserve, improve the taste, change its coloration, among others.
Preservatives, as the name says, have the function of preserving products for as long as possible, have always been used, but in a natural way. Before the refrigerator existed, for example, many natural conservation techniques were used, such as dehydrating food, salting, preserving, smoking, among others.
At present, the preservatives we consume are chemicals with the power to inhibit the growth of bacteria or other microorganisms that could spoil food. Food additives are in almost all the packaged products that we buy, from breads, processed juices, cheese, meat, margarine, wine, among others.
In order to better explain the role of the most used food additives, we have prepared a list with the information pertinent to each one.