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What are the common food preservatives?


Date: 11 Jun 2016    Group: Health    Category: Nutrition   

What are the common food preservatives? Are there any natural food preservatives also besides the common chemical food preservatives? What are the possible adverse effect of consumption of chemical food preservatives? Do such food preservatives have any nutrition value?
Experts: do assist.


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Author: Timmappa Kamat    12 Jun 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

Some of the most widely used food preservatives are -

1. BHT and BHA

Butylated hydroxyanisole(BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene(BHT) are used in packaged foods to preserve them. BHA is added to avoid the food from becoming rancid. It is used in chewing gum, beer, butter, meat etc. BHT is used to prevent the foods from changing color and odour.

2. Sodium Nitrate

Sodium Nitrate is a type of salt that is used to preserve meats. It is most commonly used in smoked meat, bacon and jerky.

3. Sulfites

Sulfites are used as antimicrobial agent. This is used to prevent discoloration and browning. Lobsters, shrimps, pickles are some examples that use Sulfites.

4. Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate slows down or prevents the growth of bacteria and yeast. It finds common usage in Pickles, Carbonated drinks, fruit juices etc.



Author: Venkiteswaran.    12 Jun 2016      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Salt is the very common preservative for pickles and many such food items.
Oil is another natural preservative.
Vinegar is also used as preservative.

One way to add salt by dissolving in water and boiling the water and trying to condense to reduced volume and then adding that to the food item to be stored. Some items can be preserved by adding turmeric. Some items can be preserved by closing the container airtight immediately after pouring contents into it and sealing with sealing wax or the natural sap of Jackfruit. Certain foods can be preserved long by heating them and removing water content.


Author: Mahesh    13 Jun 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

Some of the natural preservatives include - long, velchi and few other herbs. These are often used to keep some specific bacteria and insects away. For example long is used to keep the insect from corn flour and few other types of flour. It also helps in keeping the grains from attracting bacteria. Even ants don;t touch anything that has long and few herbs in it.

In case of artificial preservatives there are plenty of options -

1. Sodium nitrate.
2. Sodium bisulfite
3. Calcium propionate
4. glutaraldehyde

These are the most common artificial preservatives. Depending on the type of food to protect the content is changed accordingly. Most of the common ones are listed in above. However do note that there are some of the preservatives that should not be added or have some regulation for their quantity.


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