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Additives for health 3.7 What are the advantages of food additives?.
What are the advantages of food additives?
Should additives always be avoided? Some additives make food taste better, last longer or are actually good for you. Some should be avoided and may cause allergic reactions. But some manufacturers imply that additives are bad, and that having no additives is a good thing. What do you think?
Baked beans are good for you and taste good. But take away the additive and the sauce becomes thin and watery. The additive here is cornflour or starch, a natural product that has been used to thicken sauces for years. Is this an additive you would like to see banned?
Many savoury snacks contain salt – one of the oldest additives on the planet. Some also contain monosodium glutamate or MSG. This helps us to taste flavours so gives food a stronger taste. Some people react badly to MSG. But would you ban it for everyone?
Tartrazine is a yellow colouring. It makes some types of orange squash more orange in colour. Do we need it? Look at these bottles – one with and one without. Which would you buy? And which do you think would taste better?
Some people react badly to tartrazine so some manufacturers have started to replace it with turmeric.
Some additives help to stop food going off. The most commonly used preservatives include benzoic acid or citric acid. Fruit drinks, jams and marmalades, many cakes and biscuits contain preservatives. So, here’s another choice – additives or foods that will go off more quickly?
We’ve all got a very sweet tooth nowadays. The average teenager in the UK gets through 19 kg of sugar every year in foods before they add any to their tea or coffee! This adds lots of calories to our diets and is not good for your teeth. Perhaps an artificial sweetener like aspartame is actually healthier?
All the additives so far have been useful, mostly harmless to most people and can make foods look and taste better. One of the last groups of additives is actually guaranteed to make you healthier. It’s an antioxidant called … vitamin C! This is added to fruit drinks to stop oxygen in the air spoiling the flavour and colour of the drink. It does the same job in some cured meats and is added to many breakfast cereals.
Which of these viewpoints do you agree with? Are there any additives you would ban? And why? Or should some be made compulsory to improve our diet?
Well, I will avoid some additives but most seem pretty safe to me. I would ban some but keep the others.
Additives are bad. If we concentrated on making good quality healthy food and eating local produce we wouldn’t need them. There is a risk – however small. Let’s just get rid of them all for safety’s sake.
What a lot of fuss about nothing! Additives have been tested and any that are unsafe are soon banned. They keep our foods fresh, make them taste better and some even make them healthier for us! What’s there to ban?