What is food additive? Is it harmful to the human body?

What is food additive? Is it harmful to the human body?

Food additives are commonly used. Food additives are a class of chemically synthesized or natural substances used to improve food quality, extend food shelf life, facilitate food processing, and increase food nutrients.

“The term food additive began in the Western industrial revolution, but its direct application can be traced back to thousands of years in China.” Hou Gong, an electronic engineer from Houwang, said that in ancient China, there was a record of using natural pigments in food. For example, in Shennong Materia Medica and This Sketch Book, there are records of the use of scorpion dyeing; in the Zhou Dynasty, cinnamon was used to enhance the fragrance; in the Northern Wei Dynasty, "Food Classics" and "Qi Min Yao Shu" also used salt brine. Gypsum coagulated soy milk and other records.

At present, there are more than 2,400 kinds of food additives approved for use in China, mainly including acidity regulators, anti-caking agents, defoamers, emulsifiers and flavor enhancers. In foreign countries, the use of additives is more common, with more than 3,000 in the United States and 2,000 in Europe and Japan.

A freshly baked bread with a leavening agent inside; a sweet and refreshing juice, a sweetener, and a sweetener... Go into the supermarket and pick up the food with the packaging, as long as you read the food carefully. The packaged ingredients list will reveal that most of the food additives contain varying degrees of “natural” food. This is precisely because people put forward strict requirements on the appearance quality, taste and convenience of food, preservation time, etc., manufacturers will find ways to please people's eyes and tongue, desperately improve food formula and improve its "technical content" .

“In fact, food additives are indispensable in the manufacture and processing of food. As long as the enterprises use them in accordance with relevant national standards, they will not pose a safety hazard to the consumption of food.” Houwang Electronic Engineer Zhong introduced that the food industry has such a Bottom line: Without food additives, there is no modern food industry. In recent years, the additive incidents that caused consumers to panic are mostly caused by improper use of humans and illegal use of chemical additives. For example, various non-food additives added to the "chemical hot pot" by the media have been illegal and there is no security. “'Food additives' and 'chemical additives' are two different concepts. Food additives are safely consumed within the prescribed range after long-term tests. The state has detailed regulations. In addition, companies add Other chemicals are illegal additives, such as melamine, which should be called 'chemical additives' rather than food additives."

In addition, in order to cater to the consumer's psychology, some companies claim that “this product does not contain preservatives” and “this product does not contain additives” in the advertisement of food, exaggerating the so-called “green food” without any additives, causing people. Further confusion in understanding and fear of food additives, many consumers mistakenly believe that the additives in food are harmful and can cause cancer. “There are almost no processed foods on the market that do not use food additives. If food additives are completely banned, most of the goods on the supermarket shelves will be removed.”

For food additives, people don't have to talk about it. Food experts said that the correct use of food additives is not only harmless to humans, but also can improve the color, aroma, taste and other qualities of food, and has a good effect on increasing appetite and enhancing nutrient absorption. For example, the use of nutritional fortifiers can increase the nutritional value of foods and improve health; sugar-free sweeteners can meet the special requirements of diabetic patients.

"Food additives are double-edged swords. If they are used well, they are 'angels'. If they are not good, they are 'devils'." Experts say that any substance that exceeds a certain intake may show toxic effects. Excessive use of food additives or high levels of impurities can cause acute and chronic poisoning in humans. For example, excessive nitrite in meat products can cause changes in human hemoglobin, and its oxygen carrying capacity decreases, resulting in hypoxia. The illegal list of 151 kinds of foods and feeds announced by the state was re-published by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant departments on a batch-by-batch basis. The purpose is to restrict the strict compliance of food production operators and practitioners. Production and operation according to standards.

How to prevent illegal food additives from being added to food?

1. The government has increased food testing, purchased food additive rapid detectors, established township-based testing centers, increased additive promotional materials, and regularly held food safety classes. 2. Enterprises should lead by example, prohibiting the use of illegal food additives and overuse. 3 food additives: food safety is everyone's responsibility, cooperate with government food inspection, report illegal traders

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