Category Archives: sodium benzoate

Sodium Benzoate coming to prepared meat and poultry products in a grocery store near you

One of FoodFacts.com’s most important missions is to educate consumers about the controversial ingredients found in our food products. There are so many food additives that aren’t good for our bodies and that have actually been linked to a myriad of serious health problems, conditions and diseases.

One of those food additives is Sodium Benzoate. This widely used preservative prevents the growth of microorganisms in acidic foods. It can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma symptoms in sufferers. It is also known to exacerbate ADHD symptoms in both adults and children alike. In addition, and most concerning, is that when it is used with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the two ingredients can react together to form small amounts of benzene which is a carcinogen.

Today we learned that Sodium Benzoate, along with Sodium Propionate and Benzoic Acid which had been prohibited for use in meat and poultry products will now be approved as of May 6th, 2013. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has stated that these three additives are safe for use as antimicrobial agents in certain ready-to-eat (read prepared) meat and poultry products.

This ruling was prompted by a petition from Kraft Foods Global, Inc. in 2006 to allow their use to inhibit the growth of Listeria in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. In 2010, Kemin Food Technologies also petitioned for their use for the same purposes. After evaluating the requests, the FDA stated that it had no safety objections to the use of the preservatives. They reviewed the supporting data which was supplied by Kraft and Kemin. While they concluded that the companies had established the safety of the preservatives, it asked for more data and granted both companies waivers to conduct trails on the efficacy of the additives as antimicrobial agents.

Data was then collected from in-plant-trials and scientific studies that illustrated that these substances do not conceal damage or make the products in which they are used appear better or of greater value then they actually are. Research findings demonstrated that the use of the additives is effective in controlling the growth of Listeria in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.

There are many studies which have already been conducted linking Sodium Benzoate to numerous side effects and health concerns. FoodFacts.com is not especially concerned with the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s insistence on data that shows that the additives do not make the products appear superior to others that do not contain them. We are, however, extremely concerned that these controversial ingredients will now be making their way into even more products on our grocery store shelves when we are already aware of their harmful potential. It would appear that instead of working to remove potentially harmful ingredients from our food supply, the FDA and the food industry are working expand their use. This isn’t good news for consumers and it’s something we’ll need to keep an eye out for in ingredient lists beginning in early May. Let’s stay aware and keep reading labels so that we can continue to avoid those ingredients as best we can.

http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/usda-oks-sodium-benzoate-other-food-preservatives/

New research linking preservative with ADHD

FoodFacts.com wants to call our community’s attention to a new study from the Journal of Attention Disorders. So many times we read about a possible exacerbation of attention difficulties from various food preservatives and additives and this new study has found something that might appear to be more than a possible exacerbation.

Sodium benzoate is a preservative found in many different food products and beverages. It has long been recognized as generally safe in small amounts. And it has been recnogized to have harmful effects in certain circumstances. Its use is to prevent spoilage. And you’ll see it most often in acidic products like soda, jelly or jam or sauerkraut. Possible problems have been allergic reactions and the suggestion that it is a trigger for hyperactivity in children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. In addition, it is known to actually form benzene when combined with ascorbic acid. While the amount of benzene formed appears to be low, it does appear that the amounts of benzene formed in some beverages would be an actual health concern, since benzene has been linked to elevated risks for leukemia and other blood cancer. So, generally, sodium benzoate is a preservative that is – and has been – of concern.

This new study focused on college students who habitually consumed high levels of beverages containing sodium benzoate, and those who did not. 475 students took part in the study in 2010. They were each asked about their consumption of beverages containing sodium benzoate. They were all assessed for symptoms of ADHD.

The study clearly found that consumption of beverages containing sodium benzoate had a significant association with symptoms for ADHD.

There were 67 students who displayed symptoms of ADHD who reported consuming more than 35 servings per month of beverages containing sodium benzoate. These students scored a 4 or more on the symptom scale used. On the lower end were students consuming 17 servings per month of beverages containing sodium benzoate, who had the least amount of symptoms.

While further research is certainly needed, this study displays a recorded link between ADHD and sodium benzoate.

FoodFacts.com encourages our community, as always, to read labels carefully. While sodium benzoate is a common ingredient in sodas, it is present in other food products as well. Stay alert for the presence of this preservative on ingredient lists regardless of the food category.

Watching sodium levels?

While grocery shopping the other day, we came across a bouillon that claims to be “Sodium Free.” The nutrition label even backs it up. There are exactly 0 mg of sodium per serving. Amazing! However, upon closer inspection of the ingredients list, we noticed that it contains “disodium inosinate” and “disodium gunaylate.” FoodFacts found this to be intriguing enough to share with everyone we know (and some that we don’t).

These ingredients are added to the bouillon in such tiny amounts (parts per million) that it could be considered negligible for most normal people. However, if you are sensitive to sodium, and/or monosodium glutamate, aka MSG (see how to spot MSG here: http://blog.foodfacts.com/index.php/2011/07/07/msg-is-sometimes-hidden-in-food-with-labels-that-say-no-added-msg-no-msg-added-and-no-msg/) this might be something of interest to you. Further still, if you happen to look up those two ingredients on foodfacts.com, you’ll see that they are used as flavor enhancers, used in conjunction with MSG. Meaning, just because you don’t see the words “monosodium glutamate” anywhere on the ingredients list, it could be hidden as something else, somewhere else on that list.

Many different sodium food additives exist in the food world. They have a range of uses as stabilizers, preservatives and/or flavor enhancers. However, if, for whatever reason, you are watching your sodium intake, you might want to not only look at the nutrition label, but keep reading the ingredients list. Keep an eye out for any ingredient that has sodium in it. For instance, sodium caseinate, sodium nitrate (nitrite), disodium EDTA, sodium benzoate, sodium bisulfite and disodium 5′ guanylate (a combination of disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate).
These are also ingredients we have listed as “controversial” on foodfacts.com, as they could have potentially harmful effects. For example, sodium benzoate, when mixed with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can create benzene – a known carcinogen. Effects of another sodium additive, Disodium 5′ Guanylate is not safe for babies under twelve weeks and should generally be avoided by asthmatics and people with gout, as the guanylates are metabolized to purines. However, with both of these ingredients, the typical amounts found in food are generally too low to produce significant side effects or cause serious damage.

Food science has found many great uses for sodium (which is both a naturally occurring and necessary mineral in our bodies). Without some additives, we could have spoiled food and gray deli meats (ew). In small amounts they may not cause any side effects, but what if you add up all the sodium additives in your diet? A little in your lunch meat, a little in your dairy, a little in your beverages. The amount of additives could add up. If you are watching your sodium intake, it could be something to be mindful of.

Understanding the Dangers of Sodium Benzoate as a Food Preservative

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Foodfacts.com wants to make you more aware of what controversial ingredients manufacturers are putting into our foods. Sodium benzoate is a commonly used preservative in such items as soft drinks, fruit juices, and jams. Here’s why you need to be concerned about it.

As more people become aware of the chemicals they put into their bodies when they eat processed foods, food preservatives have come under increasing scrutiny. These chemical additives serve the important purpose of stopping the growth of bacteria and fungi which could cause illness if left unchecked. Unfortunately, the dangers of food preservatives are becoming increasingly recognized. One unhealthy preservative that’s received recent attention is sodium benzoate.

Sodium benzoate is a commonly found preservative in such food and drink products as fruit juice, soft drinks, coffee flavoring syrups, as well as a variety of condiments. Although the FDA has previously classified sodium benzoate as a safe preservative, this classification is now being questioned. It appears that sodium benzoate forms a chemical known as benzene when in the presence of vitamin C. Benzene not only causes damage to DNA, the genetic material, it’s also a known carcinogen and appears to play a role in a variety of diseases due to it’s DNA damaging capabilities.

Another reason sodium benzoate may be considered an unhealthy preservative is its effect on children. Some studies have shown that sodium benzoate along with artificial food colorings can cause children with ADHD to be more hyperactive. This can be a particular problem for kids who consume soft drinks on a regular basis since most carbonated beverages have sodium benzoate as a preservative. Because of increasing awareness of this problem, Coke is planning on removing this unhealthy preservative from its soft drink products this year.

Because the conversion of sodium benzoate to benzene occurs in the presence of vitamin C, this unhealthy preservative may be particularly unsafe when used in fruit jellies, jams, and fruit juices where high vitamin C fruits are present. It’s also thought that heat plays a role in the conversion to benzene, so heating products containing this preservative could increase the risk of negative health effects.

Unfortunately, many of the preservatives used in common food products have raised health concerns although sodium benzoate appears to be under the most scrutiny right now. To reduce your risk of exposure, read nutrition labels closely and avoid products that contain sodium benzoate, which can also be listed on the label as E211. Be particularly careful to avoid buying products high in vitamin C that have this unhealthy preservative and never put any product containing sodium benzoate under heat. To avoid the dangers of food preservatives entirely, avoid processed and packaged foods and make your own fresh items at home.

Article provided by: www.ehow.com

The Effect of Food Additives on Your Child’s Health

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Foodfacts.com wants to make everyone more aware of the harmful effects of Food Additives on Your Child’s Health. Do you ever wonder how Jello gets its pretty colors? Or how the taste of vanilla can exist in food that doesn’t contain vanilla beans? Additives and chemicals are added to our everyday foods and beverages and most have nothing to do with nutritional value. They exist to fulfill consumer’s expectation of perfection. We know that Mother Nature may not produce a perfect fruit or vegetable so we keep them unblemished with the use of fungicides, pesticides and herbicides. With the continued high demand from consumers for meals that are easy to prepare and taste good, the industry of food additives in the category of flavorings and flavor enhancers is expected to top $1.46 billion this year.

Food additives are not new (originally they were made from coal tar oil) and children have been eating them for decades. So why do we care about them now?

Today our children are exposed to additives and chemicals everyday all day. Instead of the occasional candy, or special occasion pink cupcakes, children growing up in the United States are digesting chemicals from breakfast until bedtime. Multi-colored toothpaste, colored breakfast cereals, artificial whip toppings, bubble gum, liquid medicine and highly processed convenience foods in lunchboxes (can you say Lunchables?) More children are drinking soft drinks with artificial color, flavor, caffeine and aspartame. The more they have the more they crave, and for a tired parent, sometimes the path of least resistance becomes the choice.

More importantly, pesticides, hormones and synthetic food additives have been shown to affect brain development, behavior and learning abilities in children. What you put in your shopping cart is more important than ever!

FOOD DYES Listed on the ingredients label as “Yellow No. 5″, “Red #3″, etc., dyes are used primarily to make food appear fresher than it is, or in the case of many foods made for children, to attract them with bright colors. They are used in breakfast cereals, drinks, candy, bakery goods, puddings, gelatin desserts, just to name a few. Instead, look for carrots and beets as natural coloring agents on the label.

ARTIFICIAL FLAVORINGS Are made up of hundreds of combinations of chemicals, both natural and synthetic. A popular flavoring agent is “vanillin”, also listed as “vanilla flavoring”. This flavoring agent is made from the waste product of paper mills. Instead, look for “pure vanilla” on the label. MSG, salt and sodium containing agents are popular food additives. MSG has been linked to brain damage and infertility in laboratory animals and many people who eat MSG complain of headaches, chest pains and numbness. It’s primarily used to intensify flavor in meats, condiments, pickles, soups, candy and baked goods.

PRESERVATIVES There are about one hundred preservatives, which are used to prevent food from going “bad”. BHA, BHT and TBHQ are three commonly used preservatives. They may also be listed as “anti-oxidants” because they prevent the fats in food from “oxidizing” or spoiling. (There are natural and beneficial anti-oxidants but they are more expensive than the synthetic versions that are currently widely used.) You can find them in beverages, ice cream, candy, baked goods, soup bases, potatoes, breakfast cereals, dry mixes, enriched rice, animal fats and shortenings containing animal fats. These preservatives can cause allergic reactions and have been known to affect kidney and liver functions, brain function and may also convert other ingested substances into cancer-causing additives.

Nitrates, nitrites and sulfites, sodium benzoate, calcium propionate and citric acid are preservatives that trigger terrible symptoms in allergy sensitive kids, but for some they are deadly. Nitrates and Nitrites are used as a color fixative in cured meats, and studies have linked them to cancer. Sulfites are used for their anti-browning effects and to keep fruits and vegetables crisp longer.

SWEETENERS - Refined starches, high-fructose corn syrup and all artificial sweeteners (NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet’n Low, Sucralose, Acesulfame-K) not only rob your children of their health, but artificial sweeteners have been linked to brain damage, MS, Lupus and other central nervous disorders. Excessive sugar intake in children is also a contributing factor to our current childhood obesity epidemic.

As the primary grocery shopper, you are the most important person in your family’s health. By reading labels and selecting wisely, you can protect your family and affect the sales of more wholesome foods.

Article provided by www.familymagazinegroup.com