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Food additives and associated health issues - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Course: Date: Food additives and associated health issues Introduction Food additives refer to synthetic compounds usually added in small quantities to improve food flavor, taste, or as preservative (Watson 146). This is usually done during the processing stage of food manufacture…
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Food additives and associated health issues
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Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless, food additives accepted by law in the US are generally considered safe for consumption. This paper will discuss food additives and their associated health issues. Allen notes that initially food were grown in fields and eaten directly from the farm. Wild foods were also sought and gathered (Par. 1). Some did fishing from lakes and oceans while hunters obtained protein out of wild animal’s meat killed during hunting. Nevertheless, as the population grew, the world expanded, specialties of trade developed, farming progressed and urbanization took emerged with a variety of foods to feed diversity of people. In effect, methods of food processing and preservation, such as salting, drying, picking and smoking were developed to deal with the problem of waste, storage and food related diseases. As industrialization accessioned by advancement in technology took over the whole world, the modern food industry’s dependence on processing and additives continued to increase. For a number of years now, the food industry has continually used chemical substances to preserve, manipulate and transform food. Scientists nowadays use these chemicals to mimic natural flavors, color foods in order to make them look more fresh and natural, preserve them, and create altered versions of vegetables, bread, fruits, meat, and dairy products among others. However, research indicates that some of these additives are highly risky for human consumption as they pose serious health risks (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food additives. Meeting and World Health Organization 43). One such food additive is the sulphur dioxide and other sulphites used as a preservative agent in a variety of foods. Sulpher dioxide is said to be a naturally occurring product in wine and beer production. Nevertheless, it is often added to bottled wine to prevent fermentation within the bottle. Research, however, indicate that sulphur dioxide is liked to asthma ailments. It is worth noting that most of those consuming products which have sulphite as a food additive are highly prone to asthma diseases. Sulphite food additives are commonly used in juices, dried fruits, processed meats and cordials (Macnair par. 2). Tartrazine is another food additive mainly used as yellow food coloring in sauces, soft drinks and lollies. This chemical usually exist in food ingredient panel as E102 and research has linked it to quite a number of medical health conditions such as rhinitis (running nose), urticaria (nettle rash), skin allergies such as dermatitis and asthma. Therefore, those highly exposed to tartrazine are more liked to suffer from these health conditions (Lippmann, Cohen, and Schlesinger 34). Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in the world today, particularly in the US. The prevalence of this disease has increased tremendously over the last few years. However, research has linked certain food additives to the disease, raising a lot of concerns. One such additive that has been linked to cancer is the sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate usually found in hot dogs, bacon, luncheon meats, ham, coned beef and smoked fish. This additive is mainly added to add flavor and stabilize food. However, when grilled, sodium nitrate and nitrites react and transforms into a compound that causes cancer. BHT and BHA found in ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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