FOOD ADDITIVES

FOOD ADDITIVES - FOOD ADDITIVES Any substance the intended...

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FOOD ADDITIVES Any substance the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food including any substance intended for use in producing, manufacturing packaging, processing, preparing, treating, transporting or holding food. This is the definition that the FDA uses for food additives. It is very broad and is meant to protect consumers. Anything directly added to food is an additive. Indirect additives are also important. If you have a food product in a microwavable pouch and some of the material from the pouch enters the food, it is legally a food additive. If there are moving parts on the equipment in areas where it is reasonable to assume that some of the grease used to lubricate the parts could enter the food, it is a food additive and must be food grade. Sources of toxic compounds in food Naturally occurring chemicals Compounds produced by processing Food additives Microbial toxins We often worry about how safe our food is. There are a number of sources of potentially harmful substances in food. The list above covers most of them. By far the greatest number of toxic substances comes from the food itself. There are some things we don’t eat because we have learned they are poisonous or maybe they just don’t taste good. While a lucky Buckeye is a good thing to carry it is not a good thing to eat. Some other kinds of chestnuts are fine to eat. The difference between safe to eat and poisonous is often the dose. If the toxic compounds in buckeyes were there at 1% their current dose we would probably consider them edible. They would still contain toxic substances. They would not be toxic at the dose we consume. Benzaldehyde is toxic. It is also the main flavor compound in cherries. An oral dose of 91 grams will kill half of the 150 pound people who consume it. Two pounds of cherries contain approximately 40 mg of benzaldehyde. The benzaldehyde consumed from eating about a ton of cherries would kill half of the 150 pound consumers assuming some other compound didn’t get them first.
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The FDA has to establish rules that make the toxicity of added chemicals to food trivial. We should expect that things added to food should not be toxic and should offer little risk. You will see that some very strict rules have been established. They are only violated for essential nutrients. We have to accept some risk from Vitamin A toxicity if we are going to get enough in the diet of the average person. We should expect virtually zero risk for a flavoring like benzaldehyde or aspartame. History
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FOOD ADDITIVES - FOOD ADDITIVES Any substance the intended...

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