What exactly is a food additive? Technically a food additive is anything that you add to your food! Legally…
The Legal Definition Legally, the term refers to "any substance where 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." This definition includes any substance used in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of food.
Think about this…. Can you name a food additive?
Why do we even use additives? Uses: Safety and Freshness Nutritional Value Improve Food Quality
Regulation of food additives The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the primary and legal responsibility for approving food additives as “safe”. Today food and color additives are more regulated and monitored than anytime in the past. What does the FDA consider when approving additives?
Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) GRAS is a label that the FDA uses to describe various products that are added to our food Items on the GRAS list are scientifically proven to be safe If not approved for GRAS the FDA takes action to prevent the distribution of the product Product must be proven safe for the intended use before they are allowed to be on the market
Food Additive Types: Direct food additives Indirect food additives
Color Additives What are color additives? Certified colors Colors that are exempt from certification
What are Color Additives Used For? What are color additives used for? Offset color loss Correct color variations and add enhancements To make foods more “fun”
Common Additives You May Have Heard About… Ingredient TypePurposeSeen on the Label As PreservativesPrevent food spoilage and slow changes in color, texture, and flavor sodium benzoate, calcium propionate, sodium nitrite, potassium sorbate, BHA, BHT Flavors and SpicesAdd natural and synthetic flavors Natural flavoring, artificial flavor, spices, Monosodium glutamate (MSG) Fat ReplacersProvide mouthfeel, flavor, and texture to replace the fat in low-fat or fat-free foods Olestra, cellulose gel, carrageenan. modified food starch, guar gum, xanthan gum, whey protein concentrate Stabilizers, thickeners, texturizers Provide texture and mouthfeel Gelatin, pectin, guar gum, carrageenan, xanthan gum, whey
How are ingredients listed on the label? Manufacturers are required to list all ingredients on the package label Product order Greatest amount to the least amount How Ingredients are listed Description Use
Amaranth Amaranth is a general term that refers to a whole family of herbs The “Hopi Red Dye” was originally used by the Native American tribe, the Hopi for a deep red dye Today we know it better as FD&C Red No. 2 Uses The “Red Scare”
Amaranth… A study was conducted to determine the possible carcinogenic affects of the color additive Amaranth Done with mice Mice were given a dose of 200 or 1000 mg/kg body weight Examined the mice gut and feces after given the dose of amaranth
Is Amaranth Safe?? Study Conclusions… Supported amaranth as a safe additive Amaranth is considered a non mutagenic substance
Amaranth Amaranth is still used in Canada and Europe today. Despite research studies that support Amaranth as a safe additive the FDA banned its use in the United States based on the concept that the additive could possibly not be safe!
Tartrazine Also known as FD & C Yellow No. 5, C.I. No. 19140, and Food Yellow No. 4 Orange/yellow powder that will dissolve in water Uses
Tartrazine Study “Effects of tartrazine on exploratory behavior in a three- generation toxicity study in mice” Study done with mice Study Results The levels of tartrazine that where used in this study did produce a few side-effects on neurobehavior through the generations of mice.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) Uses Carcinogen or Anti-Carcinogen??
BHA as a Carcinogen BHA as a carcinogen research… Study done to determine the relationship between BHA and bladder cancer and cancer of the forestomach in mice Study to determine BHA carcinogenic affects in Japanese House Shrews Study Results Increased cell growth and cancer in the forestomach of mice Increased cell growth in the lungs
Anti-Carcinogenic Affects of BHA When given in large doses BHA may be a possible anticarcinogen Still needs more research to confirm the claim No definite answer!
BHA Carcinogen vs. anti-carcinogen We do not fully understand how BHA works in both situations! Still need more research What can we believe about BHA? No specific answer Currently it is an approved additive that has been found to be safe by the FDA
Sodium Nitrite & Sodium Nitrate Uses Found in meat and fish Food safety? Used as a tool to prevent food spoilage that causes food born illness Is sodium nitrite a cause of cancer or other diseases?
What do you think? Is the research supporting the safety of additives trustworthy and reliable?
Regulation of food additives Once the additive is found safe and is approved: 1. The FDA issues regulations 2. Consultation with the USDA 3. Continued monitoring of the recently approved additive
The Delaney Clause An amendment to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 First Applied to the use of pesticides, but was later removed from the Delaney Clause when and amendment was added to the Food Quality and Protection Act Current appears in the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act Section 409- on food additives Section 721- on color additives
What do you think? Do you think that the FDA current system in approving and monitoring food and color additives is adequate? Do you think that they need more information, or need to provide more information about food additives on the label?
How Can Consumers Find Information on Additive Safety? Find information on what the FDA approves for food additives and which additives are on the GRAS list, visit: www.fda.gov
What Does the Research Say? There is research available that support certain additives as a carcinogenic agent and there are also studies that show some additives are completely safe and could also have anti-cancer affects.
Take Home Message Food additives have been in use since medieval times as a way to preserve food and prevent spoilage. Technological advances has allowed us to find new ways to preserve our foods while also adding flavor, color, and creating a desirable mouthfeel. Food additives are in a majority of products we can consume and are currently regulated by the FDA for product safety.