Is "zero additives" really safe?


In order to cater to people's distaste for talking about "additives", various "zero additive" foods have begun to flood the market, becoming a new strategy for many companies to flaunt health and raise prices. This approach will not only aggravate public panic about food additives, but also be suspected of unfair competition.

So, is “zero additives” really safe? For a substance to become a food additive, it must meet three conditions: first, it must be used due to the technical requirements of food production technology; second, it must not cause health hazards to consumers at the intended dosage; third, it must not mislead consumers. The "General Codex Standard for Food Additives" clearly states that the reason for adding the substance to food is due to the technological requirements of production, processing, preparation, packaging, transportation, storage, etc. of food, or it is expected that it or its by-products will become part of the food, or Affects food properties. From this perspective, food additives are essential to the modern food industry and cannot be replaced by other products.

Regarding food additives, there is a widely circulated saying on the Internet: "Chinese people eat the most food additives."

It is certain that China is the country with the largest production of food additives in the world, but China is by no means the country that uses the most food additives.

In China, there are nearly 2,400 kinds of food additives allowed for use, and in the United States, there are more than 5,000 kinds. It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 kinds of food additives in the world. Even the food additives allowed to be used in China have limits on scope and dosage. At present, the only typical case of excessive use of food additives is tartrazine in "dyed steamed buns" in 2011. In the Chinese diet, 90% comes from fresh agricultural products and only 10% comes from processed food. Therefore, the threat of food additives is seriously overestimated.

At present, in the field of food safety, the internationally recognized biggest problems that endanger human health are: first, food poisoning caused by microbial contamination; second, food nutrition problems caused by nutritional deficiencies and excess nutrition; third, environmental pollution brings food The fourth is the accidental ingestion of natural poisons in food; the fifth is the safety of food additives. It can be said that no country in the world regards food additives as a major issue in food safety.

Of course, there are indeed some foods that emphasize “no additives”, such as the following food slogans. However, the rationale behind this “exclusion” is worthy of analysis.

A can labeled "No preservatives." The cans are canned after high-temperature sterilization, and there is no need to add additives at all.

A box of plain yogurt, labeled "flavor-free". Plain yogurt does not need to be flavored.

A bottle of water labeled "No additives, zero sugar, zero calories, zero caffeine." A bottle of water, what else can I add?

A bottle of soy sauce is labeled "No preservatives added," but it requires consumers to "refrigerated at low temperatures." The consequence of not adding preservatives is that the storage conditions are more cumbersome. Improper storage can easily lead to health risks. When buying, think carefully.

Besides, are “purely natural” foods safe? Natural red dates contain the preservative ingredient benzoic acid; wolfberries also contain the preservative ingredient sorbic acid. There is not only oxygen in the air, but also nitrogen for food preservation and carbon dioxide for preservation. Poisonous mushrooms are "purely natural" and quite beautiful, but do you dare to eat them?

There are too many examples like this. The slogans on the packaging hide mysteries. If you have not accumulated knowledge about food, you will be easily "fooled".