Articles

FOOD ADDITIVES AND HEALTH HAZARDS OF SYNTHETIC AND SEMISYNTHETIC PRODUCTS

Food in a daily diet should promote a control of some function of the organism. The healthy food and the problem of a healthy nutrition production includes social, economic, research-and-production, medical, biologic and historical aspects. Among components for manufacture of healthy food, CO2-extracts being concentrates of natural substances of plants, multifunctional additives with rich external (aroma, taste) and internal (BAS compounds) content, take firm positions. CO2-extracts are natural food components.

It would be naive to assume that new chemical additives being applied according to certificates in dozes not exceeding the allowable ones, (referring to an estimation of the United Committee of Experts of Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization) one can use daily during his (her) lifetime without any risk for the life, and that they are harmless for our organism, especially for children's' and teenagers'.
For children under three years a special nutrition is made, and a schoolboy (a schoolgirl) uses practically all as an adult person, and many products in much more amounts: drinks, sweets, sausages.
The statistics evidence:

  • each city dweller consumes 68 kg of food additives, especially with drinks, sausage products, pastes and other food (vitamins, trace elements and amino-acids are not included);
  • 0.5 kg (about 2000 names) of synthetic additives are used for colouring, preservation, improvement of food taste, strengthening of food smell, synthetic, artificial and "identical to natural" aromatizers are used to replace more expensive natural components;
  • for about 9000 names of synthetic substances made today, no reliable methods of test are available but they are used for food purposes, 450 chemical additives are only checked up, and 80 per cent of them declared to be harmless, 14 per cent probably harmless, 5 per cent declared to be doubtful;
  • it is proved that 35 per cent of cancer reasons is poor-quality food (according to P. Ravell's data, 1995) and 1 per cent of cancer emergences is due to synthetic additives (also according to P. Ravell's data, 1995);
  • 1 per cent of cancer diseases are caused by colorants, packing and wrapping materials.

Let's consider the school-agers category: 60 per cent of schoolchildren suffer from chronic symptoms: exhaustion, drowsiness, neuropsychic deviations, apathy, weakened attention, forgetfulness, abrupt mood changes. The number of children's cancer diseases, allergies, bronchial asthma diseases has increased. Constant feeling of anxiety, discomfort and stresses of boys takes place. Most of children receive a poor nutrition and feel a sense of hungry connected with it, mainly not because of lack of money but because of food internal emptiness. Let's take for example soft drinks. Except for water, all other food components are artificial: preservatives, aromatizers, haziness agents, sweeteners, colorants. As consumers we ask a question: why food components should be "admitted for use" and what is their benefit for an organism? The consumers must know full list of components for any foodstuff by name and quantitatively. Let the label size will be more large. A consumer pays for the product with the label, and it is his (or her) right, (not the manufacturer's) to decide, what to use for food.
The majority does not wish to eat colorants: fermented rice, tartrazine, carmoisin, etc., as well as those 80 per cent of the world market aromatizers which contain artificial and synthetic aroma-and-taste substances. 19 per cent of 1000 school-age children in 1979 were constantly hungry; 59 per cent of them were constantly hungry in 1997.

  • school-agers consume excessive amount of such food components as phosphates and nitrite of sodium in meat products, and benzoic acid in freshening drinks, especially during summer period. The drinks are supersaturated with synthetic colorants, aromatizers and acids;
  • school-agers' and young people's organisms are more than others' polluted with preservatives (sorbic and sulphurous acids, sodium benzoate), with fixatives of sausage colour and of chees preservatives (nitrite of sodium), stabilizers of consistence, accelerators of maturing, bleaches, surfactants, etc.

Hygienists do not know techniques of determining synthetic aromatizers and other food additives content, because "food additive or aromatiser allowed for application" is written on the labels, and very few people understand what is introduced there and what is the amount of it, and most of the consumers, even familiar with chemistry, does not realize, what Е-102, Е-220, etc. mean, and how many of these E accumulate in our organism for a day. Especially, if again address statistics:

  • 738 samples of products taken from retail outlets when checking the content of some food additives, have shown the excess of filling rates on nitrites - 12 per cent, on sulphurous acid - 52 per cent, on benzoic acid - 29.2 per cent;
  • 11 per cent of dairy, fish and meat products, 17 per cent of drinks and 5 per cent of children's nutrition do not meet the requirements on microbiological parameters.

The arguments used by the opponents of natural products that at times harmful substances are present in natural products, are untenable. Really, there are even poisons in natural vegetable systems but as a rule, in homeopathic amounts, and it is overlooked that there are also antidotes in the same systems in parallel. Use of artificial "useful" components, in particular, of beta-carotin, (there are more than six hundred known carotenoids though) has resulted in completely odious phenomenon: colouring all products without exception, including macaroni which generated a falsification: colouring products a la beta-carotin using various synthetic colorants. However beta-carotin is known to be a fat-soluble provitamin requiring presence of tocopherols in a certain ratio. It is also known that unreasonable application of beta-carotin is dangerous, and it is noted in the materials of VII Nutritious Congress. The data regarding negative influence on a human organism of synthetic food additives, including aroma-and-taste ones, of synthetic substances when contacting with integuments (perfumery-and-cosmetic products) and with airways (household chemistry means), are collected and accumulated.
All this has generated a natural reaction of the society: a protection against alien, unnatural and dangerous food components.
Concern of the population about their own health and about health of the children has raised the following trends:

  • intensified production and consumption of qualitative and safe food;
  • development of food technologies requiring natural non-polluting sources of biologically active substances, as well as aromatic and flavouring additives;
  • development of non-polluting manufactures or closing to non-polluting as far as possible;
  • more strict government regulation on availability of undesirable impurities, especially in food stuff;
  • energy costs increase;
  • expansion of natural products and sources of aroma-and-taste additives range, and in this connection, an increasing development of pure extraction technologies of such products.

The list of the allowed solvents is given in Table 1.

Table 1

No Solvent Product or process Limit
1. Extraction gasoline extraction of food vegetable oils Applied in accordance with TI. Residua of extragents in oils not permitted
2. Dichlorethane extraction of food oils Applied in accordance with TI. Residua of extragents in oils not permitted
3. Ethyl spirit, rectificate food aromatic essences Applied in accordance with TI
4. Carbonic acid (liquid) extracts of spices Applied in accordance with TI

Extraction gasoline (hexane) and other organic solvents (freon-11, nefraces, etc.) for production of food components with aroma-and-taste properties, simultaneously being concentrates of natural biologically active substances of plants, are not listed in the Table. There are several reasons of it: lability of the components included in such a system, a residual content of extragents in dissolved and chemisorbed state.

It is well-known that beginning from 3.0 - 1.5 per cent of an extragent in a product, its removal makes more difficulties than the removal of previous 97.0 - 98.5 per cent. A replacement of the solvent or extragent brand is allowed with permission of Ministry of Health on submitting the data about distillation mode and full removal of the solvent from the product. Tough extraction technologies with live steam and other methods are used for extraction of vegetable food oils of a poor quality but not of aroma-and-taste products.

Liquid carbon dioxide (liquid CO2, liquefied carbonic gas) being a natural component of environment and our organism, is accepted to be most pure, safe and natural solvent for a human body.

So, now the most important problem for us is not formation of a non-polluting manufacture, - it already exists, not production of natural harmless products which are CO2-extracts and raw materials treated with liquid CO2 (id est. CO2-raw materials) but the fastest implementation of these products in various branches of the national economy, overcoming of synthetic and artificial food additives pressing, wide consumers acquaintance with CO2-products, revealing advantages of our products and specific recommendations on their application.

II. Human ecology, nutrition and CO2-extracts

Today food, pharmaceutical, perfumery-and-cosmetic and other industries need every possible additives: aromatic, flavouring, vitamin, bioactivators, stabilizers, preservatives, etc. Let's roughly divide all additives into natural and synthesized ones. Chemistry can all, however this "all" in the nature is richer and more balanced. Hence rendering the chemists their due, nevertheless we should note: now and then the competition raises most inconceivable, rash and even ecologically dangerous steps in this direction. A mass of synthetic food additives being very price-attractive has captivated the Russian market. Probably businessmen (businesswomen) using them, don't know that they involuntarily participate in ecocide of human beings. Some substances present in food additives in micro amounts, transiting from packing containers, as well as synthetic additives, are chemical mutagens for people. And so, based on various international documents, for health of today's people and of the descendants, we are obliged to use mainly natural additives. In advanced countries movements of ecologists, businessmen and scientists for use of non-polluting food and for non-polluting technological processes of food production take place. For example, Hipp Company being a manufacturer of children's nutrition, only applies as additives vitamin compositions balanced by the nature itself, and antioxidants of vegetable raw materials.

The most significant achievement to receive safe non-polluting extracts is a correct choice of a substance being the extragent, the substance which is everywhere around us, a product of our vital functions, - carbon dioxide.
Let's now consider the extracts received by means of liquid CO2.

It is even impossible to compare the aromatizers and target substances manufactured using the CO2-extraction, with the synthetic products sold now and flooded the market of our country. All over the world the interest to decode smells at the level of substance components already decreases, as well as the interest to receive synthetic analogues with the name of a product's aroma and to use them in the food industry. It is from where we consume now the aromas simulating natural drinks, the smell of smoked products and meat, the aromas of various expensive cognacs. In the best case it is used for flavouring refined products, in the worse one - for substitutes, fillers, etc.
The nutritious and vital value of such products is insignificant.

Let's compare synthetic aromatizers with the natural rich multicomponent substances received from plants with which we decided to replace unnecessary synthetics alien to our organism. In particular, consuming processed meat products and huge amount of flavoured water, we spoil stomach, damage liver and kidneys, disturb microflora of intestines, while the CO2-extracts received really from the heart of vegetable cell, improve appetite, supply an organism with a balanced set of vitamins and trace elements, biologically active substances, antioxidants protecting a person against ageing. CO2-extracts are natural harmless products of XXI century transmitting aroma and taste of the plant. And unlike most used plants, they are free of such a defect as semination with dangerous micro-organisms. CO2-extracts are natural preservatives and antioxidants.

III. What are CO2-extracts? What are their advantages?

The extractions, CO2-extracts received by a "cold" method (the temperature is equal up to 30°С), being ready forms for direct use in various fields of the national economy, represent absolute concentrates typical for each kind of raw materials and have a part of the properties of a raw material, based on which they are manufactured. CO2-extracts, unlike the plant itself, are free of such a defect, as semination with micro-organisms causing damage of the product. Especially it is important when using classical spices, where not only germ semination is high but also concentration of aflatoxins is high. The concentration of aflatoxins in import raw materials such as peanut, pistachios, corn and spices, amounts to 500 - 15000 mkg / kg, and that requires special costs for sterilization against the semination, as well as for removal of aflatoxins.

CO2-extracts:

  • have strongly pronounced aromas of dry spices of the same name;
  • do not lose their properties, aroma and taste during storage (three years and more according to the certificates at normal conditions);
  • are not damaged by vermin;
  • are simple in use: on solid and liquid carriers (food additives, multipurpose additives, sugar, salt, as emulsions, solutions in fats and oils, in 80-per cent vinegar, etc.);
  • easily combine compositions of spices and various "bouquets";
  • are practically non-polluting products;
  • unlike dry spices, they are not seminated microbiologically, are sterile and have bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties that prolongs products shelf life;
  • are received using high technologies at room temperatures and without oxygen, by means of a non-polar solvent (liquid carbonic acid of the food class). Doing so, liquid CO2 instantly disappears, leaving pure natural CO2-extract;
  • unlike oleoresins and ether oils, they have flying components of ether oil in a combination with non-volatile flavouring components of oleoresins;
  • are used all over the world, included into the series of high-quality products and of products of the "Health" line;
  • unlike other kinds of extracts, they are not exposed to heat treatment when recuperating solvents;
  • are most complicated combination of target and accompanying substances not doing harm an organism, whereas high-purity target components received even from natural sources, can harm an organism;
  • " are very complex natural system of a non-lipidic fraction (volatile hydrocarbons; carbonyl compounds, because of which CO2-extracts are appreciated, etc.), and lipidic fraction (fat acids, sterols - provitamin D; tocopherols - vitamin Е and those with antioxidant activity, carotenoids - provitamin A, organophosphorus compounds), vitamin C and of group B, vitamin E - phillohinon, waxes, organic acids, polyunsaturated fat acids and others. Id est., except for aroma and taste, CO2-extracts contain physiologically active substances, salutarily influencing our organism in the century of synthetics and chemical additives.
To learn the compositions of CO2-extracts better, we give some examples:
CO2-extract of red hot pepper represents oily liquid of dark orange up to brown colour with a typical keen-spicy aroma and hot taste. An important component of the red hot pepper extract is capsaicin (alkaloid-like amine giving the product hot taste.) Besides, there are carotenoids in this extract, vitamin C and others, polyatomic phenols with antioxidizing properties. The biostimulation effect of CO2-extract of red hot pepper consists in excitation of integument, initiation of local blood rush, and consequently, metabolism raising general tonus.

CO2-extract of red hot pepper contain: fat-like substances - 69 per cent, saponified fraction - 16.1 per cent, carbonyls - 0.36 per cent, spirits - 9.33 per cent, carbohydrates - 1.17 per cent, capsaicin - 0.5 - 0.8 per cent and more. CO2-extract of black bitter pepper represents oily dark brown liquid with a yellow residuum, very strong smell and taste of black pepper. It comprises as follows: terpenoids as hydrocarbons and acid-containing compounds creating a specific aroma of black pepper. The food bitterness is caused by availability of alkaloids: piperine, havicine and others. The integrated content of various classes organic compounds makes this extract very convenient and advantageous when using it as a food additive in the process of manufacturing sausage products, fish canned food, preserves and other products of public catering as an independent aromatiser, as well as in mixtures with other aromatic products. Dosage and introduction of it do not make any difficulties. Unlike dry black bitter pepper, CO2-extract of black bitter pepper doesn't require special storage conditions, temperature and humidity control when long keeping. CO2-extract of black bitter pepper contains: 40 - 45 per cent of bitter substances, such as free-state alkaloids, piperine - 28.7 - 37.7 per cent, vitamin C - 0.01 per cent, vitamin B - (0.4 - 0.5) х 10-3 per cent, etc. Before further comparing CO2-extracts with the extracts received by other solvents, we compare MCL (maximum concentration limits) of some of them:
a) gasoline - solvent (narcotic effect) MCL рз 300 (п);
b) benzene (drug, affect hematosis) MCL рз 1 (п) II class;
c) freon-253 (drug) MCL рз 1 (п) II class.

One can assert that liquid CO2 is an ideal solvent, especially to receive food and medical products.

Besides, freons in particular are forbidden for wide application by the Geneva Convention in connection with the destroying influence on the ozone layer of the Planet.

In addition, it is known from practice that to get rid absolutely of a harmful solvent, to remove it from an extract using various technological methods, is very difficult and expensive, and sometimes it is practically impossible: appreciable traces of the solvent remain. One can remove it either having spoiled the extract, or rising it in price incredibly, or using again liquid CO2 for removing the rests of the solvent. Nefrace extracts get littered with aromatic carbohydrates contained in the solvent itself (according to the Certificates it is up to 0.1 per cent of the total mass). The boil-off for nefrace 65/70 occurs beginning from 65°C, and this is not acceptable for labile components of vegetable extracts.

Extraction gasoline is only suitable for oil-and-fatty industry, where evacuation is allowable due to lack of volatile compounds in vegetable oils, and treatment with live steam.

Freon extracts are studied poorly but it is known that interactions of freon molecules with extracts are possible; the solvent is separated from an extract with difficulty; besides most of freons are forbidden as solvents in the food industry. There are no convincing data about their influence on a human organism, as well as reliable methods of determining a residual concentration of these solvents in the extracts. The following is important: the extraction process using liquefied CO2 is truly waste-free.



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