JUNKFOOD AND ADDITIVES are the top contributing factor for Non-communicable diseases.We have come across news about banning of junk foods such as Mayos and Maggie because they contained significant number of unwanted particles. Junk food is energy dense food with high amount of reﬁned sugar, white ﬂour, trans fat, polyunsaturated fat, salt, numerous additives and low nutrient value in terms of protein, ﬁbre, vitamin, and mineral content. Foods like chips, chocolate, soft drink etc. are generally taken as junk food. (Kausik J, Narang M 2011). The trend of junk food consumption is increasing because it is cheap and easily available. A recent study published in AIMS Public health reported more than half of the participants consumed noodles and lays as tiffin food items. Junk food are particularly dangerous to health because they contain substances known as food additives. These are added to food for the purpose of any aspect of production, processing, storage, or packaging. According to WHO food additives are substances that are added to food to maintain or improve the safety, freshness, taste, texture, or appearance of food are known as food additives. Some traditional food additives have been used for centuries for preservation, for example salt. However, there are many artificial food junkfood and additives that risk human health.
NEED FOR USING FOOD ADDITIVES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- Preservation: Some traditional food additives have been used for centuries for preservation, for example salt. However, there are many artificial food additives that risk human health.
- Nutrition: In some foods, vitamins and micronutrients are added. This process is called food fortification. Food fortification has been defined as the addition of one or more essential nutrients to a food, whether or not it is normally contained in the food, for the purpose of preventing or correcting a demonstrated deficiency of one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups (FAO/WHO 1994).
- Enhancing flavor: Some additives such as artificial sweeteners, methyl salicylate and benzaldehyde are used to improve taste and flavor in food.
SOME COMMON TYPES OF FOOD ADDITIVES AND THEIR USES:
- Colorings: This type of additives are added food to restore color, make food more attractive and appealing. Example: Beta Carotene, Blue # 1 2, etc. are used in sweets and soft drinks
- Preservatives: It prevents spoilage of food caused by micro-organisms. Example: Benzoic acid used in beers.
- Flavorings: Also known as flavor enhancers. These are used to improve taste of food. They can be natural and artificial. For example: Dioctyl sodium-sulfosuccinate – used in processed foods.
- Anti- oxidants: This kind of food additives are used to preserve food for a long time by preventing against deterioration caused by oxidation. For example: Ascorbic acid- 300 used in beers, Citric acid E300 used in biscuits and tinned fruits.
- Emulsifiers and Stabilizers: Emulsifiers is used for making mixture of water and oil in foods such as mayonnaise, ice-cream, etc. Stabilizers are used to give food texture.
- Acid and bases: Food acids are used for the purpose of enhancing sharp flavor and preservations. They are also used to control pH in foods.
SIDE EFFECTS OF FOOD ADDITIVES:
Some food additives have immediate effects while others are harmful after continuous exposure and accumulation. (Pandey, and Upadhyay, 2012). Some of the side effects are as follows:
- Tetrazine (trisodium 5-hydroxy-1-(4-sulfonatophenyl)-4-(4-sulfonatophenylazo)-H-pyrazol-3-carboxylate): Neurotoxic, genotoxic effects and cancer.
- Boric acids: Reduces fertility among male
- Nitrites and Nitrates: Cancer, brain tumors, nasopharyngeal tumors and leukemia.
- Saccharin: Allergic reaction.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Destroys nerve cells in brain and linked with aggravating or accelerating Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Causes cancer, DNA damage and fetal abnormalities in animals. Increases hyperactivity.
- Aspartame: Mood disorder, Depression, neurological damage.
- Sucralose: Gastrointestinal problem, Skin irritation, wheezing, cough, runny nose, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, depression, and itchy eyes.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: Obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic diarrhea.
Source: ( R. M. Pandey and S. K. Upadhyay (2012)) & (Inetianbor, Jonathan & Yakubu, J. & STEPHEN, EZEONU. (2015).)
JunkFood and Additives
- Kausik J, Narang M, Parakh A. Fast food consumption in children. Indian Pediatr 2011;48(2):97-110.
- WHO Food and Additives
- M. Pandey and S. K. Upadhyay (2012). Food Additive, Food Additive, Prof. Yehia El-Samragy (Ed.), ISBN:978-953-51-0067-6, InTech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/food-additive/food-additive.
- Inetianbor, Jonathan & Yakubu, J. & STEPHEN, EZEONU. (2015). EFFECTS OF FOOD ADDITIVES AND PRESERVATIVES ON MAN-A REVIEW. Asian Journal of Science and Technology. 6. 18.
- Bhattarai S, Bhusal CK. Prevalence and associated factors of malnutrition among school going adolescents of Dang district, Nepal. AIMS Public Health. 2019;6(3):291-306. Published 2019 Aug 21. doi:10.3934/publichealth.2019.3.291.