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Food additives

Anti-caking food additives lower nutritional content of foods

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by: Amelia Bentrup
Tags: food additives, nutrition, health news

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(NewsTarget) A team of researchers from Purdue University recently published a study in the Journal of Food Science showing that the addition of anti-caking additives to powdered food products increases the rate at which vitamin C degrades. Anti-caking agents are frequently added to powdered foods to prevent the breakdown of certain nutrients, especially vitamin C. Lisa Mauer and Lynne Taylor, both professors at Purdue University, along with graduate student Rebecca Lipasek studied the rate at which humidity causes vitamin C to dissolve. In their research, various anti-caking agents were mixed with sodium ascorbate powder (a popular form of vitamin C) and the rate at which the vitamin C disintegrated was measured. They discovered that the addition of some anti-caking agents, which are meant to prevent vitamin C from degrading, actually INCREASES the rate at which vitamin C breaks down.

Anti-caking agents are small chemicals that absorb moisture and prevent other compounds from sticking together. These agents are frequently added to table salt and other common powdered food products. Anti-caking agents are often composed of phosphate, carbonate, silicate or oxide compounds. Many of these compounds contain aluminum, such as sodium alumino-silicate, alumino-calcium silicate and aluminium silicate. Aluminum is well-known to be toxic to the body, and high levels can cause damage to the kidneys, muscles, digestive system and bones. High levels of aluminum exposure may also be linked to Alzheimer's disease.

If that isn't enough reason to stay away from food products containing anti-caking agents, then this study provides a further reason. Powdered vitamin C is frequently added to powdered foods to increase the nutritional content. Typically, vitamin C degrades at 86% humidity, and once the chemical structure changes, the nutritional value is lost. Anti-caking agents work either by coating the vitamin C crystals and protecting them from moisture, or by absorbing the moisture themselves and preventing the vitamin C from absorbing it. However, the anti-caking agents themselves may clump together leaving some of the vitamin C exposed, or they may absorb so much moisture they become saturated. This changes the Ph around the vitamin and actually lowers the humidity level at which it degrades.

This recent study confirms what many readers already know. Avoid powdered, "fake" foods with additives and stick to a diet consisting of fresh, whole, and preferably organic foods.





About the author

Amelia Bentrup is the owner and editor of http://www.my-home-remedies.com a well-researched collection of natural home remedies. Discover natural cures for a variety of ailments and find specific information and safety guidelines for various herbs, vitamins, minerals and essential oils.

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