Chemistry in Food Processing II

Continuing with the previous post about additives , today we are going to see three other additives present in our food.


They are used to homogenize the mixtures and to give some creaminess. They are E-401 and following, they are also known as alginates. They can block the assimilation of minerals. For example, E-477 causes kidney stones but in our country (Spain), it is not mandatory to indicate this on the label.


Aromatic Materials

They are mixtures that imitate natural aromas, but they are chemical substances in such a proportion that the resulting organoleptic characteristics are those of the corresponding natural organic matter, that is, food tastes or smells like what it is not or does not have.

More than 500 products are included in food production: amyl acetate, butyl acetate, benzoic aldehyde, menthol, vanillin …

They produce inflammation reactions in the oral mucosa. They are dangerous for people allergic to aspirin, many are not allowed in food intended for babies.

These artificial aromas are even used to perfume the florist’s roses that have lost their original perfume …

Flavor Enhancers

They are glycerol, sorbitol, citric acid and derivatives, malic acid, glutamic acid  H-5801

They are substances that reinforce the taste of food and act by increasing the amount of saliva produced in the mouth or by dilating the taste buds or desensitizing the brain to the impressions of the papillae.

Among its undesirable effects are the one that lowers the level of excitability of the brain nerve cell and reduces intellectual capacity.

The H-5801 may cause the syndrome called «Chinese Restaurant», whose symptoms include palpitations, headache and neck, dizziness and fainting, nausea.

It is the so-called «Chinese salt». or sodium glutamate, also known as E-620. That is why many people when they go to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, everything tastes great, with very simple foods and at very cheap prices…. the food is «made up», the taste is not real, but increased by the additive, do not forget it.

´From Elena Corrales .

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