Causes and Effects of Food Additives
These days, food industry is a topic of social concern. Dwellers confuse and want to have a better knowledge about food additives. This essay will discuss about the causes and the effects of preservative on inhabitant’s health.
The first reason why producers using artificial additives is keeping food fresh over a long certain period of time. Food additives are ingredients added to food for specific functions such as enhancing its taste and appearance. With the development of technology and chemical substances these days, more and more preservatives are produced. Although, some food additives have been used for centuries; for instance, keeping food in good condition by pickling (with vinegar), salting – such as bacon, or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines. To improve the keeping quality or stability of food, there are some classes of food additives that producers use, for example: anti-caking agents (400,500 and 900 ranges) block elements from sticking together and forming lumps; antioxidants (300 range) avoid the oxidative degradation of foods; glazing agents (900 range) enhance the appearance of food by imparting a coating to the surface and to protect it; preservatives (200 range) slow the deterioration and the spoilage of food by microorganisms. All food additives used in Australia have to be censored by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). As a result, these fresh foods will occupy the sympathy of customers and promote them to purchase, increasing profits for companies and producers.
Enhancing food’s colors, flavors and textures is a further cause of utilizing food additives. A great deal of food additives for these functions are including: artificial colors to make it more impressive; preserving the uniform dispersion of substances in solid and semi-solid foods by firming agents; flavor boosters raise the existing taste and odor of a food; gelling agents adjust the texture of the food through gel formation; reducing humidity loss in foods by humectants; raising agents liberate gases, thereby enhancing the quantity of food and are often used in banked products; sweeteners increase sweetness, and thickeners rise the viscosity of a food. Adding these preservatives not only builds the appearance of food up, but also makes it more attractive to purchasers. The inviting looks bring the fresh sensation for the customers, resulting the larging purchase volume. It leads to the increasing in gross domestic product of the country. Besides, the good foodstuffs can be exported in other countries and have opportunities to expanding into the international market. In addition, it will be more suit for the customer’s tastes. Since the taste of food depends on many external factors such as crop, seed and weather, producers tend to utilize a permitted amount of food additives to keep the perfect food taste.
A consequence of adding permitted food additives is contributing to regulating the source of raw materials for food production plants, enabling the plant to operate year-round, helping products are distributed around the world. Producers can reduce pressure of finding raw ingredients because of the popular of food materials from other countries. Food production plants can operate the whole year and produce products for customers. Furthermore, it is one of the beneficial techniques to integrate the globalization. Food goods are exported around the world by many methods of transport. As a result, manufacturers have opportunities to expand into the international market and make the countries more widely known. Owing to these benefits, there are numerous chances to purchasers. The consumption is more and more increase, so producers have to create and import many food goods to meet the requirements. These days, buyers can enjoy foreign cuisine by purchase in their countries. It is better for people who enjoy finding out the new food culture. Moreover, because food additives can last the expiry date, it will have many kinds of ready-made food. It is convenience in hurried cases when people not have enough time for lunch.
On the other hand, some food additives can cause reactions and have negative effect with health. Food Standards Australia New Zealand is responsible for approving food additives used in food products. For most people, additives are not a problem in the short term. However, 50 of the 400 currently approved additives in Australia have been associated with adverse reactions in some people. Some individuals are sensitive to specific food additives and their sensitivity levels is different. Some of these hypersensitive reactions including: digestive disorders (diarrhea, colicky pains), nervous disorders (hyperactivity, insomnia and irritability), respiratory problems (asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis) and skin problems (hives, itching, rashes and swelling). Some food additives that may cause problems for some people including: flavor enhancers – monosodium glutamate (MSG) 621; food colorings – tartrazine 102; yellow 2G107; sunset yellow FCF110; cochineal 120; preservatives – benzoates 210, 211, 212, 213; nitrates 249, 250, 251, 252; sulfites 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225 and 228, and artificial sweetener – aspartame 951. For example, reactions to tartrazine (E102, a yellow food color) and carmine (E120) have been reported occasionally in sensitive individuals; in sensitive (asthmatic) individuals, sulfites may trigger asthma characterized by breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
In summary, food additives are necessary to enhance the appearance, flavor and contribute to promote international food market. Sensitive people should be careful with harmful food additives to protect health. In my opinion, there might be more types of food additives produced in the future.
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