Food Additives

Sharing some info I had shared in circles before I got access to Food circle. Can FSSAI team please share if foods in India are permitted to have these additives? What should we citizens watch for?

1. ACESULFAME POTASSIUM
It's an artificial sweetener, 100 times sweeter than natural sugar. It contains the carcinogen methylene chloride, long-term exposure to which can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver and kidney diseases, visual disturbances, and cancer.

2. ASPARTAME
Another common artificial sweetener, said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar. Tests have shown Aspartame to cause tumours in rats. It's generally proscribed for consumption by children. Claims have made about its links with Alzheimer's, birth defects, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, attention deficit disorders, Parkinson's, lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures.

3. NEOTAME
A sweetener like aspertame and acesulfame potassium, only more toxic than either as studies have revealed. Long-term exposure can cause cancer.

4. MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE
The excess presence of this chemical in Maggie noodles had caused a furore some months ago, and FSSAI's own officers had described it as harmful. Yet it has been included in the latest list of additives.

Research has linked MSG to burning sensation of the mouth, head and neck; weakness of the arms or legs, body rashes, headaches, upset stomach. While American and European regulators have not banned this chemical, they have, as a precaution, limited its use to less than 10 times what is permitted in India.

5. SULFITES
Sulfites are a group of chemical agents added as preservatives to ready-made meals like pizza as well as to beer and wine to prevent bacterial growth. The term 'sulfites' includes sulfur dioxide and the salts formed from sulfurous acid such as sodium sulfite or potassium metabisulfite.

Studies have shown sulfites to cause minor irritations. Asthmatics have been found to be under particular threat to the effect of sulfites; they can get severe reactions from it.

6. FOOD DYES
Brilliant Blue is known to cause chromosomal damage. It is banned in France and Finland.

Alura Red has been found to cause chromosomal damage, lymphomas (group of blood cell tumors that develop from lymphatic cells) and hyper-activity.

Fast Green is known to cause bladder tumours. It's banned in several European countries.

Sunset Yellow is linked to chromosomal damage, hyper-activity, asthma, eczema, allergies, thyroid tumours. It's banned in Norway and Sweden.

7. AZODICARBONAMIDE
This is generally used by break makers as a dough conditioner. A WHO report on this chemical had this to say: "Repeated oral exposures resulted in the appearance of pyelonephritis with casts and crystalline deposits in renal tubuli in several species. However, the dose levels required to induce these effects were high (>200 mg/kg body weight per day in studies of up to 1 year's duration)."

Studies have shown the chemical to irritate the gluten which is linked to a number of gastrointestinal, immunological and neurological diseases. It can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, hormonal imbalance, and disrupt the immune system. It's banned in several European countries.

8. BHA AND BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in the body.

These chemicals are used as preservatives in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, vegetable oils, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello. They are used to keep food from changing colour and flavour, or from turning rancid. Studies have shown these to effect the neurological system and have linked it to cancer as well.

9. TERTIARY BUTYLHYDROQUINONE
It's an aromatic organic compound. Studies on lab animals have shown it to produce precursors to stomach tumors, and cause damage to DNA.

10. ASCORBIC ACID, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM BENZOATE
These chemicals are potentially dangerous individually - known to cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headaches - but in combination, they may form benzene, a known carcinogen. more  

View all 20 comments Below 20 comments
Can someone please share how much colour in food is permissible by fssai? more  
Very useful info neelima more  
Who has to control the use of chemical - the government officials. Where are they ???? more  
Great information more  
A V Good info. It is children who consume more sweets, Maggie and other foods which use abundantly preservatives and sweeteners, artificial colours as well. And it is this age most vulnerable to ill-effects. Do v HV any alternative to helplessly watching? more  
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