Preservatives – which are different from additives – are ingredients added to food to make them stay fresh for longer and taste better. There are natural and artificial preservatives that are very commonly used in various foods. However, too many preservatives can cause health problems.
While they are generally considered safe for most people to consume, certain preservatives can be harmful or even deadly for certain people. As someone handling food for other people, you must know what common preservatives are used in most foods and which preservatives are more likely to cause health problems for some people.
Here are some common natural preservatives used in various foods:
Ascorbic Acid – more commonly known as Vitamin C, is used to prevent food from spoiling and add a citrusy taste.
Citric Acid – can enhance the flavor of certain foods and is used mostly in jams, jellies, and juices.
Vitamin E – also known as tocopherols- prevents foods from browning.
Betanin – is naturally found in beetroot and other red foods and is used to add color to foods like yogurt and ice cream.
Here are some common synthetic preservatives:
Calcium phosphate – can help prevent lumps from forming in batters and baked goods.
Sorbic acid – is used to prevent mold and yeast from growing in wine, meat, and cheese.
Nitrates and nitrites – are used to preserve meat and extend its shelf life. However, nitrates and nitrites can be carcinogenic when used in large quantities, meaning that they can potentially cause cancer.
Any foods and preservatives can be allergens for certain people. It is essential that someone working in the food business has knowledge about preservatives and which kinds are used in which foods. The Australian Institute of Accreditation offers an excellent Online Food Safety Supervisor course in Melbourne that you may benefit from.
Want to know more? Enroll now.