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WHAT IS SODIUM PHOSPHATE ON A FOOD LABEL?

Aug 11, 2011 | By Allan Robinson
Sodium phosphate is a generic term that may refer to any sodium salt of phosphoric acid. They’re commonly added to food and may serve a variety of purposes. Sodium phosphates have been well studied and are generally considered safe when used as a food additive.

SPECIFIC COMPOUNDS

Sodium phosphate may refer to any of three specific compounds, although it most often refers to trisodium phosphate (Na3PO4) unless otherwise specified. Sodium dihydrogen phosphate (NaH2PO4) may also be called monosodium phosphate. Disodium hydrogen phosphate (Na2HPO4) may also be called disodium phosphate.

TEXTURIZER

Disodium hydrogen phosphate can serve as a texturizer and texture-modifying agent. This form of sodium phosphate may be added for the purpose of changing the appearance or feel of the food. A texturizing agent is frequently added to increase the shelf life of the food.

EMULSIFIER

All three forms of sodium phosphate can serve as an emulsifier. An emulsifier is added to allow for the uniform dispersion of two or more ingredients that would otherwise be immiscible. The most common specific purpose of an emulsifier is to prevent oil from separating from the rest of the mixture. Sodium phosphate is commonly added as an emulsifying agent to processed cheeses, processed meats and canned soups.

LEAVENING AGENT

Sodium phosphate may be added to a baked product to help the dough rise. The most common uses of sodium phosphate as a leavening agent are in batter for breaded chicken or fish and commercially sold cakes.

SURFACE-ACTIVE AGENTS

Sodium phosphates can also be added to food to change the surface tension of the liquid components of the food. This is typically done to serve as a foaming or whipping agent.

NEUTRALIZING AGENT

Sodium phosphate can be added to food to keep it from becoming too acidic or alkaline.

NUTRIENT

Sodium phosphate can be added to food as a dietary supplement. These compounds provide phosphates which are an essential nutrient.

Article reviewed by MER Last updated on: Aug 11, 2011

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/40858-sodium-phosphate-label/#ixzz1i7SB39oF

Is potassium chloride safe as a food preservative?

KCl is generally safe for consumption. It is already sold in a pure state in the spice section of your grocery store as Nu Salt. However, it is more bitter than standard salt. Consuming way too much can cause dehydration since it is a diuretic.

As a preservative, it would not be a good substitute for regular salt (NaCl). It would taste horribly bitter and really dehydrate you.

Also consider that potassium chloride is the 3rd shot in the process of “lethal injection”.

What is “Natural” flavoring?

The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22).

Certainly a mouthful!

In other words, it could include beef by-products, but not necessarily.

Any other added flavor therefore is artificial. (For the record, any monosodium glutamate, or MSG, used to flavor food must be declared on the label as such). Both artificial and natural flavors are made by “flavorists” in a laboratory by blending either “natural” chemicals or “synthetic” chemicals to create flavorings.

Gary Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota, says that  the distinction between natural and artificial flavorings is based on the source of these often identical chemicals. In fact, he says, “artificial flavorings are simpler in composition and potentially safer because only safety-tested components are utilized.

“Another difference,” says Reineccius, “is cost. The search for natural sources of chemicals often requires that a manufacturer go to great lengths to obtain a given chemical…. This natural chemical is identical to the version made in an organic chemist’s laboratory, yet it is much more expensive than the synthetic alternative.”

End result: We shoppers wind up paying the price for natural flavorings, and according to Reineccius, these are in fact no better in quality, nor are they safer, than their cost-effective artificial counterparts.

So what about the flavorings used in organic foods? Foods certified by the National Organic Program (NOP) must be grown and processed using organic farming methods without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock cannot be fed antibiotics or growth hormones. The term “organic” is not synonymous with “natural.” The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) defines “natural” as “a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural.” Most foods labeled natural, including its flavorings, are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes.

The NOP food labeling standards (effective October of 2002) include a National List of Allowed Synthetic and Prohibited Substances. This list has a section on allowed non-synthetic substances, some with restrictions (205.605(a)) for products labeled “organic” or “made with organic ingredients.” Four categories of organic labels were approved by the USDA, based on the percentage of organic content: 100% Organic, Organic, Made with Organic Ingredients, and Less than 70% Organic. Natural flavors, then, can be considered NOP compliant as “organic” when used under the 95% rule (flavorings constitute 5% or less of total ingredients and meet that meet the appropriate requirements) if their organic counterparts are not available. “Made with organic ingredients” can be used on any product with at least 70% organically produced ingredients.”

According to the National List, under section 7CFR205.605(a)(9), non-agricultural, non-organic substances are allowed as ingredients that can be labeled as “organic” or “made with organic,” including “flavors, non-synthetic sources only, and must not be produced using synthetic solvents and carrier systems or any artificial preservative.” Other non-synthetic ingredients allowed in this section include: acids such as microbiologically-produced citric acid, dairy cultures, certain enzymes and non-synthetic yeast that is not grown on petrochemical substrates and sulfite waste liquor.

So, the bottom line is that you have to read those labels carefully. “Natural” might not be so natural, and that even some organic foods might contain some of these “natural flavors.” There are still many grey areas for consumers and producers alike.

Research is being done and attempts are being made to produce more organic flavorings, but the process is slow. We as consumers need to be more aware of what ingredients go into our foods and also demand that the government sticks to its responsibility to regulate these ingredients and make sure that the information is discloses on EVERY label.

Phil Lempert is Food Editor of the “Today” show. He welcomes questions and comments, which can be sent to Phil.Lempert@nbc.com. If he uses your question in one of his columns, it may be edited for length and clarity. (Your full name and e-mail address will not be used.) You can also visit his website atwww.supermarketguru.com.

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Some FactsBelow iRed 40Allura Red AC (also known as Red 40) is a red azo dye that goes by several names including: Allura Red, Food Red 17, C.I. 16035, FD&C Red 40, 2-naphthalenesulfonic acid, 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-, disodium salt, and disodium 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-2-naphthalene-sulfonate. It is used as a food dye and has the E number E129. Allura Red AC was originally introduced in the United States as a replacement for the use of amaranth as a food coloring.

It has the appearance of a dark red powder. It usually comes as a sodium salt but can also be used as both calcium and potassium salts. It is soluble in water. In water solution, its maximum absorbance lies at about 504 nm. Its melting point is at 300 degrees Celsius.

Allura Red AC is one of many High Production Volume Chemicals. Some manufacturers of Allura Red AC include: Asim Products, Sanchi Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., and Warner-Jenkinson Europe Ltd.

Red AC was originally manufactured from coal tar but is now mostly made from petroleum. Despite the popular misconception, Allura Red AC is not derived from any insect, unlike the food coloring carmine which is derived from the female cochineal insect.

Related dyes include Sunset Yellow FCF, Scarlet GN, tartrazine, and Orange B.

Allura Red AC has fewer health risks associated with it in comparison to other azo dyes. However, some studies have found some adverse health effects that may be associated with the dye.

Potential behavioral effects:

On 6 September 2007, the British Food Standards Agency revised advice on certain artificial food additives, including E129. Professor Jim Stevenson from Southampton University, and author of the report, said:

“This has been a major study investigating an important area of research. The results suggest that consumption of certain mixtures of artificial food colors and sodium benzoate preservative are associated with increases in hyperactive behavior in children.”

“However, parents should not think that simply taking these additives out of food will prevent hyperactive disorders. We know that many other influences are at work but this at least is one a child can avoid.”

The following additives were tested in the research:

  • Sunset yellow (E110) (FD&C Yellow #6) – Coloring found in squashes
  • Carmoisine (E122) – Red coloring in jellies
  • Tartrazine (E102) (FD&C Yellow #5) – Yellow coloring
  • Ponceau 4R (E124) – Red coloring
  • Sodium benzoate (E211) – Preservative
  • Quinoline yellow (E104) – Food coloring
  • Allura red AC (E129) (FD&C Red #40) – Orange / red food dye

 

The study found that increased levels of hyperactivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lower IQs were observed in children. Based on the study, the UK agency advises that cutting certain artificial colors (Sunset Yellow, Quinoline Yellow WS, Carmoisine, Allura Red, Tartrazine, and Ponceau 4R) from hyperactive children’s diets might have some beneficial effects.

On 10 April 2008, the Foods Standard Agency called for a voluntary removal of the colors (but not sodium benzoate) by 2009. In addition, it recommended that there should be action to phase them out in food and drink in the European Union (EU) over a specified period. The European Food Safety Authority was requested by the UK FSA to review the study, however, and concluded that the study provided only limited evidence for a small, statistically significant effect.[citation needed] On the basis of this, EFSA concluded that the acceptable daily intake of the colors analyzed in the Southampton study did not need to be altered.

UK ministers have agreed that the six colorings will be phased out by 2009.

Want to read more – Click here for the full article on WikipediA

 

 

Blue No. 2

FD&C Blue No. 2 is also called indigo blue or indigotine. It is a synthetic version of indigo, a dye naturally produced from plants. Indigotine, on the other hand, is a petroleum product, with the chemical formula C16H10N2O2. It is used in baked goods, cereals, ice cream, snacks, candies and cherries.

Hyperactivity

In September 2007, a study reported by D. McCann and colleagues in the journal “The Lancet” linked artificial colorings, including Blue No. 2, to hyperactivity. Nearly 300 children in the study were given a beverage with artificial colors and a preservative. Drinking the beverage resulted in increased hyperactivity in the children, which the researchers attributed to the artificial coloring or the preservative or both. As a result, one candy company, Nestlé-Rowntree, stopped selling one of its candies with a blue shell until it replaced the artificial color with a new blue color made from spirulina, a blue-green algae.

Cancer

In a group of studies reviewed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Blue No. 2 did not affect reproduction or cause birth defects in rabbits or rats. However, male rats in one group that received a high dosage of Blue No. 2 had statistically significant increases in brain cancers and other abnormal cell development. No human studies have been reported, and experts disagree about the safety of Blue No. 2, according to the CSPI. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that FD&C blue no. 2 is safe for use in food and supplements, according to the Code of Federal Regulations. The CSPI asserts that Blue No. 2 is not safe for human consumption. Since it adds nothing to the nutritive value of food and evidence for its safety is questionable, CSPI recommends it not be used in foods.

 

 

References

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/402118-the-health-dangers-of-food-coloring-blue-no-2/#ixzz1i7EnVDGk

 

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Save our Children

Thanks to input from concerned parents like my nieces, Cristy, Kellie and Heather, beginning January 1, 2012, Jughandle’s Fat Farm is implementing a new globally available program to provide safe food information for anyone buying food for their children.

Goal

Our goal is to provide a data base of food names that can be easily searched using a smart phone while shopping in the grocery store.  We are already working on an app that will allow the shopper to simply scan a food’s bar code with their phone and within seconds a symbol will appear that will tell the user whether or not the food meets the “Safe Kid” food standard.

The data base information will be available on the menu bar of this blog to get complete additive and nutritional information on each food as fast as we can enter it.  Look for the “Kid Safe” menu item.

In addition to the the Kid Safe data base, the Fat Farm intends to campaign to our local governments, congress and national representatives as well as to join existing efforts to change and implement necessary legislation to test all food additives for long term effects on growing children’s minds and bodies.

We Need Your Help

We will need your help to make this work.  We need you to submit to us the name and manufacturer of the food you’d like information on.  Please just drop us an email at jughandle@jughandlesfatfarm.com to tell me about what you buy for your children to eat.  We’ll do the research that will allow you to make informed decisions about the food that fuels your child’s growth.

Standards

You are the only one capable of deciding what is safe for your children to eat.  We are only going to provide information and recommendations to make it easier for you to decide.

Additives

The focus of this data base is not going to be calories and nutritional information like we’d use for an adult diet plan.  The focus is going to be on food additives and chemical preservatives.  From an article posted by Robyn O’Brian in 2009:

The Kid Safe Chemical Act addresses the fact that back in 1976, with the passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), legislation was approved that allowed over 60,000 chemicals in existence at that time to be deemed ‘safe’ for use without a single thorough test to prove that to be true. And in the three-plus decades since the law was passed, an additional 20,000 chemicals have been rushed into the marketplace with little or no safety tests.

Today, 1 in 3 American children has allergies, ADHD, autism or asthma, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reporting stunning increases in the number of children expected to be insulin dependent by the time they reach adulthood. With 17.6% of our GDP being consumed by health costs, there is an urgent need to address the health of our children and the impact that this generation of children is having on our country, our families and our health care system.

The Kid Safe Chemicals Act, or Kid-Safe, would help protect the health of the American children by placing the burden of proof on the chemical industry, requiring manufacturers to first prove a chemical is actually safe before it’s allowed into a consumer product. Currently, all of these chemicals are allowed into the marketplace until they are proven dangerous.

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/kid-safe-chemical-act-460608#ixzz1i6iKUMgw

If that clip scares you, consider that it was written in 2009!  40 years ago when I was in school I didn’t know any one  who suffered from ADHD, autism or even asthma.  Today with more that 1 in 3 children showing symptoms of these problems, it has to be more that even environmental factors.  It has to be in our food.

Work In Progress

This “Kid Safe” program was dreamed up by my niece Cristy just last night.  After learning that the color additives to her child’s food are unsafe, Cristy spent 2 1/2 hours “Goggling” everything she put into her  shopping cart.  Cristy’s idea, that we are kicking off today, is to be able to quickly check a food while shopping to see if it is safe for her child.

Conclusions and Recommendations

We will work a fast as possible to fill the data base with valid information and products.  Please provide us with your personal products so that we can make this project immediately viable for you.  – jughandle

Bill Clinton – the Vegan

Yes, the former President of the United States is a vegan.  He once stuffed himself with barbecue, chicken enchiladas and he loved his hamburgers.  President Clinton like myself has a family history of heart disease.

Bill Clinton declares vegan victory

The former president, known for his love of burgers, barbecue and junk food, has gone from a meat lover to a vegan, the strictest form of a vegetarian diet. He says he eats fruits, vegetables and beans, but no red meat, chicken or dairy. continue

The Los Angeles Times

Bill Clinton talks about being a vegan

  • Former President Bill Clinton during a recent visit to Haiti. Clinton says that his vegan diet is improving his cardiovascular health.
Former President Bill Clinton during a recent visit to Haiti. Clinton says… (EPA / Andres Martinez Casares)
August 18, 2011|By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / continue reading

Bill Clinton a Vegan? Now we’ve heard everything

August 19th, 2011 from Healthy Living
Read the complete article

What is a typical vegan meal?

The following is a typical 2300 calorie vegan meal plan for 3 days from VeganHealth.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This diet is roughly 53% carbs 15% protein and 32% fat

Day 1

Breakfast 

  •  1 serving scrambled Tofu
  • Whole wheat bread – 2 slices
  • 2 medium wedges of cantaloup
  • 1 T margarine spread

Morning Snack

  • 6 oz cup of Soy yougurt
  • 2 T Flax seed

Lunch

  • 1.5 servings of Black Bean and sweet potato salad
  • 1 whole grapefruit

Afternoon Snack

  • 2 oz trail mix snack

Dinner

  • 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1 serving of grilled vegetables
Evening Snack
  • 1 cup of fruit salad

Day 2

Breakfast 

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 8 oz green tea
  • 1 cup Kashi breakfast pilaf
  • 4 T english walnuts
  • 1 cup of soymilk

Morning Snack

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 T almond butter

Lunch

  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups raw lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp flaxseed oil
  • 1 T balsamic wine vinegar dressing
  • 1 non-dairy burrito
  • 1 oz no salt sunflower seeds
Afternoon Snack
  • 4 T hummus
  • 8 medium baby carrots
  • 4 slices crisp rye bread

Dinner

  • 2 cups whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 7 vegetarian meatballs
  • 1 cup broccoli, boiled with salt

Day 3

This day is 66% carbs 14% protein and 19% fat

Breakfast 

  •  1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup raisin bran

Morning Snack

  • 2 medium wedges of cantaloupe
  • 5 whole wheat vegetable crackers, nonfat

Lunch

  • 1.5 servings of vegan chili
  • 1 serving dry salad
  • 1 piece of cornbread

Afternoon Snack

  • 6 oz of orange juice with calcium
  • 3 T mixed nuts

Dinner

  • 1.5 servings of brown rice and lentil pilaf
  • 1.5 servings of broccoli with garlic and olive oil

Conclusions

I conclude that we can make a better menu than that and I’m going to get a jump on next year by working the rest of this year on it.  Stay tuned Fat Farmers, this won’t be as hard as you might think (he said with a shaky voice) – jughandle

 

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