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Harmful impacts of food additives and preservatives

The level of food contamination has reached a new level. Even fresh fruits and vegetables contain chemicals and preservatives to preserve the taste, freshness and color of food. Considering the abundance of chemicals and preservatives,

The level of food contamination has reached a new level. Even fresh fruits and vegetables contain chemicals and preservatives to preserve the taste, freshness and color of food. Considering the abundance of chemicals and preservatives, it is very important to avoid junk food. However, when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, it is impossible to avoid them considering their nutritional value. This is why it is so important to wash fruits and vegetables correctly using a vegetable and fruit cleaner. To help you understand the side effects of preservatives, in this blog, we discuss diseases caused by excessive use of preservatives.


Types of preservatives in food


There are two types of storage that are commonly used:


1.Natural preservatives



There are some preservatives that do not use any chemicals to change their composition or are not combined with any synthetic material. These preservatives contain antioxidants, which delay the oxidation or aging process of food. Sugar, oil, and salt are some of the things that make the body hard. This is why pickles last for years because of the combination of oil and salt. Canning, freezing, and freezing are some natural ways to preserve food.


2.Artificial protection


These preservatives are produced artificially and also synthetically in nature. Food products with artificial preservatives come with an ‘extra’ food label. Jams, spreads, juices, ketchup, and fried foods are all loaded with artificial preservatives. This is why you should carefully check food labels before buying food.


Are all preservatives bad for health?

As the name tells preservatives are used to preserve food for long time. These preservatives help in increasing the shelf life of food and preserve the taste of food for a long time. However, not all food preservatives are harmful to health. The reason is that they are not combined with synthetic materials and the chemical composition does not change.

Artificial preservatives or chemicals used to delay food contamination are a cause of health problems. These preservatives are created artificially and synthetically in nature. These are often referred to as additives on food labels.


Illness caused by preservatives

Using too many preservatives has a negative effect on your health. Listed below are some of the health problems you may suffer from if you eat foods full of preservatives.


1.Heart disease

Heart disease shas become common and the presence of preservatives and food is one of the main causes of increasing heart problems. A study by InChem suggested that food preservatives could weaken heart tissue. When you eat foods that have leftover preservatives on them, it can increase the risk of heart damage.


 2.Breathing problems

Preservatives and chemicals in food increase the risk of respiratory problems. According to a Mayo Clinic study, eliminating foods containing preservatives from the diet can help reduce the symptoms and severity of respiratory problems and asthma. Some preservatives in food such as aspartame, sulphites and benzoates make breathing problems worse.



One of the most harmful effects of preservatives in food is their ability to transform into carcinogenic substances. Some of the ingredients are nitrosamines, which are preservatives that contain nitrites and nitrates, which combine with gastric acids to produce cancer-causing substances. To ensure that you avoid consuming this preservative, you need to avoid foods or foods that are full of nitrites and nitrates.



Using Added Preservatives may lead to Type-2 diabetes. Commonly used food preservatives may increase insulin resistance, and blood sugar finds research. Propionic acid is a commonly used food preservative that can increase blood sugar by inducing glycogenolysis and impairing insulin activity in the body, a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine published. This study showed that prolonged exposure of mice to low daily doses of propionate resulted in gradual weight gain, insulin resistance, and hyperglycaemia. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood sugar is too high. Blood sugar is the main source of energy, comes from the food we eat, and is regulated by insulin, so if you have insulin resistance, your blood sugar will rise. Glycogenolysis is the breakdown of glycogen into glucose, which can increase blood sugar. Glycogen breakdown usually occurs when the body’s blood sugar levels are too low. Malfunctions in this pathway can lead to hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemia is a condition in which there is an excess of insulin in the body relative to glucose. Both conditions can cause hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance. This can also lead to diabetes.



Assessing the health risks of dietary supplements



WHO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is responsible for assessing the risks to human health from food additives. The risk assessment of food additives is carried out by an independent scientific body, international experts – the FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

The only food additives that have passed the JECFA safety assessment, which found that they do not present potential health risks to consumers. This applies to whether the dietary supplement is natural or synthetic. Local authorities, based on JECFA assessment or national research, can then authorize the use of food additives at specific levels for specific foods.

The JECFA evaluation is based on the scientific analysis of all the available biochemical, toxicological, and other relevant data in addition to the provided – the tests that will be forced on animals, research studies and observations in humans are considered. The toxicological tests required by JECFA include large-scale, short-term, and long-term studies that determine how food additives are applied, distributed, and removed, as well as the adverse effects of additives or by-products at certain levels.

The starting point for determining whether a food additive can be used without harmful effects is to establish the daily intake (ADI). The ADI is an estimate of the amount of an additive in food or drinking water that can be safely consumed per days throughout life with no health effects.


International standards for the food additives



The safety assessment carried out by JECFA is used by the intergovernmental food standards organization of the FAO and WHO, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, to establish standards for the maximum use of additives in food and beverages. Codex standards are the reference for national standards for consumer protection, and for international food trade, so that consumers everywhere can be confident that the food they eat meets the standards of the agreement for safety and quality, regardless of where it was produced.

Once food additives are identified as safe for use by JECFA and maximum use levels are established in the Codex General Standard for Food Additives, it is necessary to implement national food laws that allow the actual use of food additives.




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