Rus Articles Journal

Food chemistry of

Three kilograms of chemicals. There is that quantity which is swallowed in a year by the average consumer of the most different, time of absolutely habitual products: cakes, for example, or fruit jelly. Dyes, emulsifiers, a sealant, thickeners are present now literally at everything. Naturally, there is a question: why producers add them to food and these substances are how harmless?

Experts agreed to consider that “food additives are the general name of the natural or synthetic chemicals added to food for the purpose of giving of certain properties to them (improvement of taste and a smell, increase of nutritional value, prevention of damage of a product etc.) which are not used as independent foodstuff“. Formulation quite accurate and clear. However not all in this question is simple. A lot of things depend on honesty and elementary decency of producers, on the fact that and in what quantities they use for giving to products of a trade dress.

Serial number of taste

Food additives are not the invention of our high-tech century. Salt, soda, spices are known to people from time immemorial. But here original blossoming of their use began all - in the XX century - a century of food chemistry. Were laid great hopes on additives. And they met expectations fully. With their help it was succeeded to create the big range appetizing, dolgokhranyashchikhsya and at the same time less labor-consuming products in production. Having won recognition, “improvers“ were put on a stream. Sausages became gently - pink, yogurts svezhefruktovy, and cakes magnificently - not hardening.“ Youth“ and appeal of products was provided by additives which use as dyes, emulsifiers, sealants, thickeners, zheleobrazovatel, glazirovatel, amplifiers of taste and a smell, preservatives...

their existence is without fail specified by

on packing in the list of ingredients and are designated by a letter “E“ (an initial letter in the word “Europe“ (Europe). It is not necessary to be frightened their presence, the majority of names at the correct observance of a compounding of harm to health does not bear, exceptions make only those which can cause individual intolerance in certain people.


Further the letter is followed by number. It allows to be guided in variety of additives, being, according to Uniform European classification, a code of concrete substance. For example, E152 - absolutely harmless absorbent carbon, E1404 - starch, and E500 - soda.

the E100 Codes - E182 are designated by the dyes strengthening or restoring color of a product. The E200 codes - E299 - the preservatives raising period of storage of products due to protection them from microbes, fungi and bacteriophages. The same group included the chemical sterilizing additives used when maturing wines and also disinfecting substances. E300 - E399 - the antioxidants protecting products from oxidation, for example from rancidification of fats and change of color of the cut vegetables and fruit. E400 - E499 - stabilizers, thickeners, emulsifiers which appointment - to keep the set product consistence, and also to increase its viscosity. E500 - E599 - pH regulators and substances against caking. E600 - E699 - the fragrances increasing taste and aroma of a product. E900 - E999 - antiflaming (defoaming agents), E1000 - E1521 - all the rest, namely - glazirovatel, dividers, sealants, improvers of flour and bread, teksturator, packing gases, sweeteners. Food additives at numbers E700 - E899 do not exist yet, these codes are reserved for new substances which emergence not far off.

Secret of crimson American grapes

History of such food dye as the cochineal insect, it is a carmine (E120), reminds the detective novel. His people learned to receive in an extreme antiquity. The purple paint received from a red worm which was used by descendants of Nov is mentioned in bible legends. And it is valid, the carmine was received from the insects of the cochineal insect known also as oak cherveets, or American grapes. They lived in the countries of the Mediterranean, met in Poland and in Ukraine, however the greatest fame was gained by the Ararat cochineal insect. In the 3rd century one of the Persian tsars presented to the Roman emperor Avrelian the woolen fabric painted in crimson color which became sight of the Capitol. The Ararat cochineal insect is mentioned also in medieval Arab chronicles where it is said that Armenia makes the kirmiz paint used for coloring of down and woolen products, writing of book engravings. However in the 16th century in the world market the new type of the cochineal insect - Mexican appeared. The famous conquistador Hernan Cortes as gift to the king brought it from the New World.

the Mexican cochineal insect was more small Ararat, but bred five times a year, in her thin little bodies there was practically no fat that simplified process of production of paint and the painting pigment was brighter. In only a few years the new type of a carmine conquered all Europe, just forgot about the Ararat cochineal insect for many years. The archimandrite of the Echmiadzinsky monastery Isaak managed to restore recipes of the past only at the beginning of the 19th century Rubbed - to Grigoryan, he is miniature painter Saak Tsakhkarar. In 30 - e years of the 19th century the academician of the Russian Imperial academy of Sciences Iosif Hamel who devoted to “live dyes“ the whole monograph became interested in its opening. The cochineal insect even tried to part commercially. However emergence at the end of the 19th century of cheap aniline dyes discouraged at domestic businessmen to potter with “worms“. However, it became very quickly clear that need for paint from the cochineal insect will disappear still not soon, unlike chemical dyes it is absolutely harmless to a human body, so, can be applied in cookery. In 30 - e years of the XX century the Soviet government decided to reduce import of import food and obliged the famous entomologist Boris Kuzin to arrange production of the domestic cochineal insect. Expedition to Armenia was crowned with success. The valuable insect was found. However its cultivation was interfered by war. The project on studying of the Ararat cochineal insect was renewed only in 1971, but her commercially business did not reach cultivation.

Food of tomorrow

August, 2006 was marked by two sensations at once. On the International congress of mycologists passing in the Australian city of Kairnsa, doctor Marta Tanivaki from the Brazilian institute of food technologies reported that she managed to reveal a secret of coffee. Its unique taste is caused by activity of the fungi getting to coffee grains during their growth. At the same time, what will be a fungus and as far as it will develop, depends on an environment of area in which coffee is grown up. For this reason different grades of the invigorating drink so strongly differ from each other. At this opening, according to scientists, the big future, if to learn to cultivate fungi, it is possible to impact new relish not only coffee and if to go further, then to both wine, and cheese.

A here the American biotechnological company Intralytix suggested to use viruses as food additives. It to a noukha will allow to cope with the outbreaks of such dangerous disease as listeriosis which, despite all efforts of health officers, only in the USA about 500 people annually claim the lives. Biologists created cocktail from 6 viruses, pernicious for Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, but absolutely safe for the person. The management on control of foodstuff and medicines of the USA (FDA) already authorized processing of ham, jotas by it - mastiffs, sausages, sausages and other meat products.

the Saturation of products special nutrients practicing in the last decades in the developed countries allowed to liquidate almost completely the diseases connected with a lack of this or that element. So consigned to the past heyloz, angulyarny stomatitis, glossit, seboreyny dermatitis, conjunctivitis and keratit, connected with a lack of B2 vitamin, Riboflavinum (the E101 dye giving to products beautiful yellow color); the scurvy caused by deficiency of vitamin C, ascorbic acid (E300 antioxidant); an anemia which reason the lack of vitamin E, tocopherol is (E306 antioxidant). It is logical to assume what in the future will be to drink special vitaminnomineralny cocktail enough or to take the corresponding pill, and problems with food will be solved.

However, scientists also do not think to be satisfied with what has already been achieved, some even predict that by the end of the 21st century our diet will consist entirely of food additives. Sounds extremely and it is even a little horrible, however it is necessary to remember that similar products already exist. So, chewing gum and Coca Cola, superpopular in the XX century, received the unique taste exactly thanks to food additives. Here only society does not share similar enthusiasm. The army of opponents of food additives increases not on days, and on hours. Why?

Opinion of the expert

Olga Grigoryan, leading researcher of Office of preventive and rehabilitation dietology of Clinic of the GU medical foods of scientific research institute of food of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, candidate of medical sciences.

- in principle, is present nothing strange that any chemical fillers without which the modern food industry is inconceivable are fraught with allergic reactions, work violations zheludochno - an intestinal path. However to prove that this or that food additive, extremely difficult became an etiology. It is possible to exclude, of course, a suspicious product from a diet, then to enter it and to look how it will apprehend an organism, but a final verdict: what substance caused allergic reaction, it is possible only after a series of expensive tests. And than it will help the patient, next time he can buy a product on which this substance just will not be specified? I can only recommend to avoid beautiful products of unnatural color with too importunate taste. Producers are perfectly informed on possible risks of application of food additives and go on them quite consciously. The appetizing type of meat products which is caused by use of nitrite of sodium (E250 preservative) became the talk of the town long ago. Its surplus negatively affects exchange processes, depresses respiratory organs, has onkonapravlenny action. On the other hand, it is enough to look once at home-made sausage of gray color to understand - in this case smaller is chosen from two evils. And, not to create to itself problems and not to exceed maximum permissible concentration of nitrite of sodium, do not eat every day sausage, especially smoked, and everything will be as it should be.

of Passion inflame

the Problem that not all food additives used in the industry are well studied. A typical example - sweeteners, artificial substitutes of sugar: sorbite (E420), aspartame (E951), saccharin (E954) and others. Long time physicians considered them absolutely safe for health and appointed both sick diabetes, and just wishing to grow thin. However in the last two decades it became clear that saccharin is carcinogen. In any case, the laboratory animals consuming it had cancer, however, only if ate saccharin in the volume comparable to their body weight. Any person is not capable of it, so, and risks much less. And here a large amount of sorbite (about 10 grams and more) can cause zheludochno - intestinal insufficiency and to be the reason of diarrhea. Besides, sorbite is capable to aggravate a syndrome of the angry thick gut and violation of absorption of fructose.

History of food additives of the 21st century was also marked

by scandal. In July, 2000 representatives of the American Society on consumer protection, having secured with support of the prosecutor of the State of Connecticut Richard Blumenthal, addressed to Management on control of foodstuff and medicines of the USA (FDA) with the requirement to suspend sale of the food enriched with these or those substances. The speech, in particular, went about orange juice with calcium, cookies with antioxidants, the margarine lowering the level of “bad“ cholesterol, food fibers pies, and also drinks, dry breakfasts and chips with additives on the basis of vegetable raw materials. Reasoning the requirement, Richard Blumenthal declared, based on some data that “separate additives can prevent effect of medicines. It is obvious that there are also other side effects which are still not found“. As in water looked. Three months later the group of the French researchers studying properties of food fibers declared that they not only do not protect from an intestines cancer, but also can provoke it. Within three years they watched 552 volunteers with precancer changes in intestines. A half of examinees ate, as usual, to the second half entered an additive on the basis of an isfagula peel into food. And what? In the first group ached with only 20%, in the second - 29%. In August, 2002 fuel to the fire was added by the Minister of Health of Belgium Magda Elvoert who appealed to the European Union leaders to forbid in the territory of the EU chewing gum and tablets with fluorine which, of course, protect from caries, but, on the other hand, provoke osteoporosis.

In January, 2003 food dyes, more precisely, one of them - canthaxanthin came under the center public attention. People in food do not use it, and here to a salmon, a trout, and also hens add it to a forage their meat gained beautiful color. The special commission of the EU established that “there is an incontestable communication between the increased canthaxanthin consumption by animals and problems with sight at people“.

However the real furor was created by the report of the British professor Jim Stephenson published in the spring of 2003. Five-year-old twins Michael and Christopher Parkery became object of research of scientists from University of Southampton (Great Britain). Within two weeks to Michael did not allow to eat Smarties and Sunny Delight candies, drinks of red Irn Bru and Tizer color, and also carbonated drinks and other products with chemical additives. Mother of twins Leann Parker so characterized results of experiment:“ For the second day I saw changes in Michael`s behavior. It became much more obediently, it developed sense of humour, he willingly talks. In the house stress level decreased, in the relations between boys there is less aggression, they almost do not fight and do not quarrel“. Scientists from Australia also reported about influence of food additives on behavior of teenagers. They defined that the propionate of calcium (E282) added to bread as the preserving substance, can lead to strong mood swings, sleep disorders and concentration of attention at children.

In April, 2005 the international group of researchers under the leadership of Malcolm Grivs declared that food additives (dyes, seasonings and preservatives) are the reason of 0,6 - 0,8% of cases of the chronic small tortoiseshell.

the Black list

the Food additives forbidden to application in the food industry of the Russian Federation

of All a few years ago the forbidden additives bearing in themselves obvious threat for life were used by

very actively. E121 and E123 dyes contained in sweet sparkling water, lollipops, color ice cream, and E240 preservative - in various canned food (compotes, jam, juice, mushrooms etc.), and also practically in all widely advertized import chocolate bars. In 2005 under a ban E216 and E217 preservatives which were widely used in production of candies, chocolate with a stuffing, meat products, pastes, soups and broths got. As showed andfollowings, all these additives can promote formation of malignant tumors.

the Food additives forbidden to application in the food industry of EC, but admissible in the Russian Federation

  • E425 - Konzhak (Konzhakovaya flour):
    • (I) of Konzhakovaya gum,
    • Konzhakovy glyukomannan
  • E425 are applied by
  • (II) to acceleration of process of compound of badly mixed substances. They are included in many products, especially the Light type, for example chocolate in which vegetable fat is replaced with water. It is impossible to make it without similar additives just.
  • E425 does not cause serious diseases, but in the European Union countries konzhakovy flour is not used. It was withdrawn from production after several cases of asthma of small children into which airways the gummies which are badly dissolved by saliva which high density was reached by means of this additive got were recorded.

Facts of life

Should be taken into account and the fact that owing to the psychology the person often cannot refuse what is harmful, but it is tasty. History with the amplifier of taste a glutamate of sodium (E621) is indicative in this regard. In 1907 the employee of Imperial university Tokyo (Japan) Kikunaye Ikeda for the first time received white crystal powder which strengthened flavoring feelings due to increase in sensitivity of nipples of language. In 1909 - m he patented the invention, and the glutamate of sodium began victorious procession along the world. Now inhabitants of Earth annually consume it in number of over 200 thousand tons, without thinking of consequences. Meanwhile in special medical literature there are more and more data that the sodium glutamate negatively influences a brain, worsen a condition of patients with bronchial asthma, lead to destruction of a retina of an eye and glaucoma. On a sodium glutamate some researchers lay blame for distribution of “a syndrome of the Chinese restaurant“. Already several decades in various corners of the world fix a mysterious disease which nature is still not clear. At absolutely healthy people temperature unexpectedly increases, the person reddens, breast pains develop. The only thing that unites victims, - all of them shortly before an illness visited the Chinese restaurants which cooks are inclined to abuse “tasty“ substance. Meanwhile, according to WHO data, reception more than 3 grams of a glutamate of sodium a day “are very hazardous to health“.

I all - should face the truth. Today without food additives (preservatives etc.) to mankind not to manage as they, but not agriculture, are capable to provide 10% of an annual gain of the food without which the population of Earth just will appear on the verge of starvation. Other question that they have to be the safest for health. Health officers, of course, care for it, but also all rest should not lose vigilance, attentively reading what is written on packing.