Chemicals in Food
- Chemicals are added to the food for the following reasons:-
- Their preservation
- Enhancing their appeal
- Adding nutritive value in them.
- Main categories of food additives are as follows:-
- Food colours
- Flavours and sweeteners
Sucrose (Natural sugar)
- Fat emulsifiers and stabilising agents
- Flour improvers - antistaling agents and bleaches
- Antioxidants prevent damage to the cells, cell proteins and lipids. They neutralize the free radicals which causes aging and degeneration of body.
- For example: - Vitamin E and Vitamin C etc. They are electron rich substances so they can denote electrons to free radicals which are causing age degeneration.
- They stabilize the age causing radicals.
- Nutritional supplements such as minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Artificial Sweetening Agents
- Sucrose and fructose are the most widely used natural sweeteners.
- But their intake increases calories in the diet and excess of them can cause tooth decay.
- Ortho-sulphobenzimide, also called saccharin, is the first popular artificial sweetening agent. It is about 550 times as sweet as cane sugar. It appears to be entirely inert and harmless when taken.
- Its use is of great value to diabetic persons and people who need to control intake of calories.
- Aspartame is the most successful and widely used artificial sweetener. It is roughly 100 times as sweet as cane sugar.
- It is methyl ester of dipeptide formed from aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
- Use of aspartame is limited to cold foods and soft drinks because it is unstable at cooking temperature.
- Sucralose is trichloro derivative of sucrose. Its appearance and taste are like sugar. It is stable at cooking temperature. It does not provide calories.
- Food preservatives prevent spoilage of food due to microbial growth. The most commonly used preservatives include table salt, sugar, vegetable oils and sodium benzoate, C6H5COONa.
- Sodium benzoate is used in limited quantities and is metabolised in the body. Salts of sorbic acid and propanoic acid are also used as preservatives.
- There are 3 categories of food preservatives:-
- It inhibits the growth of bacteria.
- They prevent damage to the cells, cell proteins and lipids. They neutralize the free radicals which causes aging and degeneration of body.
- For Example: - BHT(butylated hydroxytoluene) and BRA(Butylated hydroxyanisole).
- It will remove the oxygen from the substance. It is used to preserve fruits and vegetables.