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Food Additives

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McGill University
CHEM 181
David Harpp

World of Chem: Food Feburary 14, 2012 – Food Additives Food Additives  Beeswax, carnauba wax, candelilla wax, shellac on apples to preserve water/moisture o Most waxes are vegetable origin – carnauba wax is of vegetable origin and the same wax as used on shoe polish o An emulsifier has to be added: morpholine o In body, reacts to make nitroso-morpholine o Nitrates naturally present in vegetables o Nitrosamines  “Good old days” o Greenhouse gases and soot! o London 1952 – 8,000 deaths in a week  Smog added up for a week o Cuyohoga River 1970 caught on fire from the waste on the surface! o No antibiotics o No Canadian Food Inspection Agency – they would add lead acetate to wine to make it sweeter, copper salts added to vegetables to make them greener, plaster added to flour to make it last longer so it was cheaper for the baker. CaS4 plaster of Paris.  One baker did not have plaster one day so used another white powder, arsenic As 2 3nd people died.  Cyanide is toxic but naturally occurring in: bitter almonds, fruit seeds, cassava roots, lima beans o Poisoning in Africa – Cassava is the staple food in Africa. Must be prepared in a certain fashion to remove the cyanide  Safrole used to be the flavouring agent in root beer. But not allowed anymore – carcinogenic to animals. Sassafras leaves were still sold in tea though. Safrole is a precursor to make ecstasy. So now can‟t get sassafras leaves.  Wileswood popcorn – list of ingredients: genuine popcorn, pure vegetable oil, natural salt, real artificial colour.  NaCl is the #1 food additive in Canada. It is #2 in the U.S. In Canada, sugar is not considered to be a food additive. But it is considered to be in the U.S. ~10 lbs/person/year o Approximately 10x more than what we need o Salary “salarium” came from the word „salt‟ because roman soldiers would be paid in salt. o Associated with high blood pressure o Not all people that suffer from high blood pressure are sensitive to sodium. o The Cl in NaCl makes it worse o Na is bad only for people that are sodium sensitive o For people that are sodium sensitive, NaCl is worse because Cl magnifies the Na. World of Chem: Food Feburary 14, 2012 – Food Additives o Not many artificial salts. KCl used sometimes instead, or ornithyltaurine. But not successful. o Reduce the size of NaCl crystals to minimize the use of salt. The smaller they are, they will give more salty taste.  Chemical preservatives are used in very little amounts compared to salt. 1 lb/person/year! o Salt 15 lb/person/year o Represents 2,000 chemicals allowed in Canada, 1,800 are flavour additives.  MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG) o Naturally present in seaweed o Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami – 5 classifications of taste  “umami” developed by Kikunae Ikeda 1908  Translates as flavourful o Increases salivation and sensitivity (taste buds) o CRS – adverse reaction to MSG. Not an allergic reaction (which involves the immune system). It‟s a burning sensation in the chest and pain sensed in the arm. Similar to sensations from a heart attack. Not dangerous – nobody has ever died from it. Chinese Restaurant Syndrome aka Kwok‟s Disease o Sodium salt of glutamic acid (cheese, tomatoes, egg – ingest glutamic acid!)  Molasses  (bacteria convert to) Glutamic acid  (treat with NaOH)  MSG o MSG is responsible in some individuals for adverse, NOT allergic, reactions.  A lot of it is psychological o Some people who believe that they are MSG sensitive are not when challenged in blind studies. o In sensitive individuals, MSG can trigger asthma attacks.  There are some allergies to food additives  Epinephrine (adrenaline) brings blood pressure up after an allergic reaction.  In turkeys: coconut oil, STP (Sodium Trypoly Phosphate) o Add water so there is more moisture when turkey is cooked o STP is present also in cleaning agents! To trap calcium in water so that water washes better  Louis Pasteur was the first one to show that bacteria caused spoilage. Showed by the „spontaneous generation‟ theory – before Pasteur, people believed that life could be created from nothing. So he showed that if the bacteria was prevented from getting in, they would not spoil what was inside.  Bacteria can be kept in check by heating the food or keeping it at very low temperature. o Or osmosis: salt. o Pickles preserved by putting them in brine solution  Too much salt present though. o Osmosis applies to any solute in solution e.g. sugar World of Chem: Food Feburary 14, 2012 – Food Additives  Smoke is a good preservative: dehydrates the food and is toxic o Red Herring, when smoked, it turns red.  Food poisoning is a major problem in North America. o Canada: ~2 million cases per year, 30 deaths. o U.S.: ~20-80 million cases? 10,000 deaths? o Salmonella from chicken 50% of chicken are infected with salmonella! o Listeria monocytogenes in cheese and cooked meat o E. Coli  “organic” peanut butter  Spinach from health food stores o Despite increased safety measures the incidence of food poisoning is still higher than what it should be.  Better reporting  Increased meat consumption  Increased lifespan  Increased traveling  Industrial farming  Use of antibiotics in animal feed o Pregnant women must be more careful because their immune system is weaker. o Industrial agriculture – antibiotics in animal feed ~50-70% of antibiotics used in North America is given to animals  Economical – animals grow faster on less food.  But bacteria living in the animal develop immunity to the antibody and thus antibiotics do not work on us.  Emulsifiers: polysorbate 60 and glycerides – blends things together (like coconut oil and water)  Artificial flavour o A lot of chemicals required  120 mL water in apples – 85%  Nature identical – it is artificial. o Vanilla – active ingredient is vanillin. o Artificial vanilla contains only vanillin o Real vanilla contains vanillin and other substances  Imitation cherry extract has many different chemicals, including vanillin (which is not present in cherries!)  Vanillin is the number 1 flavouring ingredient  Artificial smoke flavour! o Burn wood and allow the smoke to go through water. o Safer than smoking on the BBQ. More carcinogenic compounds are more volatile – do not stay in the water. World of Chem: Food Feburary 14, 2012 – Food Additives  Colour: 10 synthetic colours (8+2); 24 natural colours o 8: can use throughout the food o 2: restricted – can be added to skin of the food but not the food itself, for example o Caramel is the most widely used food color in North America.  Coca cola is coloured with caramel o Beta-carotene and canthaxantin are natural colours.  Was used in tanning pills – 1.5 g (illegal now)  Fat soluble  But dangerous.  In food, used at 5 mcg o Butter – colour added during winter season only.  In the summer, the colour from grass that cows eat gets converted.  In the winter, they eat hay so butter was white. So had to be coloured.  Now colour not added to the butter, instead it is given to the cow through carrots.  Same idea for eggs. Carrot bits added to chicken food to make eggs more yellow. o Cochinea
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