Using legal food preservatives safely
Food additives are substances added to food products to preserve or improve its freshness, taste and appearance.
Yet with the explosion of market information and the proliferation of fake news, people sometimes mistakenly use illegal additives such as melamine, clenobuterol hydrochloride and Sudan dyes. However, permissible or legal food additives are safe and will not do harm to our health. These have all gone through a government safety evaluation test.
There is also a danger that if preservatives are not added to some foods the products could be contaminated with disease-causing microbes.
If good preservatives are not put into certain meat products, baked goods, instant food, fruits or even dressings like soy sauce and vinegar, they could be infected by these disease-causing microbes.
Food additives have a history much longer than most people imagine, which can be traced back to the start of human civilization.
People still use a lot of these preservatives from ancient times, such as oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar.
Moreover, brine, which is used to make tofu and alum, and baking soda, which is used to produce Chinese dough sticks, are also food additives. Without them we could never enjoy the variety of foods we have in our lives today.
Common food additives includes an antioxidant that can be found in Chinese bacon, preserved meat, salted and dried duck, ham, sausage and packaged cooking oil.
A leavening agent is a substance added to cakes, cookies, bread and puffed snacks to make food rise.
A thickener is added in ice cream and sauce-seasoned products and, of course, preservatives help in prolonging the shelf life of meat products, baked goods, instant food and fruits. Food additives can also be used as an index on a country’s development in science and technology, economy and society. The more advanced a nation is, the more varieties of food additives are found.
Although food additives can make food tastier, look better and improve quality, its amount should be carefully limited with a view to food safety. But while you should remain vigilant to illegal additives, there should be no need to worry about the amount of preservatives added to various food products.
The government has strict food safety guidelines to prevent the contamination of products caused by excessive additives.