Food additives are used to enhance taste (such as black pepper and MSG), preserve, or fortify food. Examples of food additives are salt, gum arabic (see here, here), artificial coloring (in farmed fish as well), artificial flavoring, and citric acid. Sweeteners include stevia , erythritol, corn syrup, and nutrasweet, though only two are considered to be health-promoting. Some additives are considered harmful, including as potassium sorbate, coumarin (which has been banned), and nitrites (see also here, here, here, here, here, here). Some have been found to be contaminated with mercury and others associated with hyperactivity and dementia. The meat industry is even now considering additives to try to make meat safer.
Topic summary contributed by Jinda Chaijinda
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Watch videos about food additives
August 26, 2013
July 31, 2013
Is Carrageenan Safe?
Carrageenan is a food additive used as a thickener and fat substitute in a variety of dairy and nondairy products. Concerns about potential intestinal tract damage are placed in the context of...
February 22, 2013
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People eating conventional diets may ingest a trillion microparticles of the food whitening additive titanium dioxide every day. What implication might this have for inflammation in the gut?
January 2, 2013
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Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
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June 15, 2012
Maggot Meat Spray
Given their inherent resistance to food-poisoning bacteria, maggots can be used to create an antibacterial food additive to increase the safety of the meat supply.
June 14, 2012
Viral Meat Spray
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April 27, 2012
Preventing COPD With Diet
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is now the third leading cause of death. The good news is that in addition to smoking cessation there are dietary interventions that can help prevent COPD.