Antonio Gomez, RDN, Nutritionist at Wholefort
Industries have been using food additives for many years. Recently, a pair of additives have caught our attention, and its origins may surprise you.
One of the main functions of natural additives is to extend the shelf life of food products significantly. Without additives, products would spoil faster than expected, and food mass-production industries will lose a lot of money.
Nutritionally, additives have no beneficial nutritional value. Today, more than 3000 natural and artificial additives are available in the market, not only altering preservation, but flavor-enhancing, color-enhancing, and even appearance with the advent of processed foods.
Various labeling regulations have been put into effect to ensure that processed foods are known to consumers. We will talk about two additives from animal sources that you may not know in today's post.
“Today, more than 3000 natural and artificial additives are available in the market“
Disodium inosinate or E631, it t is a food additive often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other industrial snacks. E631 is used as a flavor enhancer to provide a meat-salty taste obtained from pigs' meat.
The producers, most of the time, fail to provide information on the origin. Ingredients source is hugely relevant not only to religious restriction on animal consumption but to dietary preferences. And although the FDA committee has reviewed it with no evidence of carcinogenicity, it still gives the products a high salt concentration.
“E631 is used as a flavor enhancer to provide a meat-salty taste obtained from pigs' meat”
Gelatin, or E441, is a colorless, flavorless food additive derived from animal body parts like nails. It is brittle when dry and gummy when moist. This gelatin agent is found in processed foods and extends to medications, photographic films, and even cosmetics. E441 is broadly used in gelatin desserts, gummy candy, marshmallows, ice creams, and yogurts.
Like E631, the consumption of gelatin can cause problems to religious or cultural dietary restrictions since they come from animal parts. And although partial alternatives to gelatins exist like seaweed and plant extracts, this costs more, and processed food opts to use animal sources since they are cheaper.
“E441 is a colorless, flavorless food additive derived from animal body parts like nails”
Regarding health safety, E441 and E631 may not be carcinogenic but can much carry on toxins. A toxin is a harmful substance produced by living cells or organisms. E441 and E631 represent a source of these toxins since they come from animal body parts, so it is best to avoid them to minimize the risk of developing an infectious disease.
Before purchasing products, you must check its ingredients. You should buy organic products, which are free from additives. Try to eat freshly prepared or organic foods as much as possible rather than processed or canned foods.