Understanding Common Food Additives
Food additives are ingredients used to enhance colors, flavors, texture or shelf life. Below are a few of the more common food additives that we’ve made an effort to eliminate from our products, particularly from our Appleways line of healthier snacks.
- Artificial Food Coloring: While artificial coloring can brighten and add coloring to food products, the rising health concern of these dyes have caused many manufacturers to reconsider using them. While additional research is needed, concerns have been raised about the link artificial dyes have to hyperactivity in children or the potential of cancer-causing effects. As we continue to learn more about the use of artificial coloring, it’s the safest option to steer clear and choose natural food coloring options.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: A common sweetener made from corn, the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been found to lead to weight gain and diabetes. It doesn’t offer any vitamins or nutrients, and instead causes the inflammation of cells. With these factors in mind, the use of natural sweeteners in much preferred when it comes to food production.
- Artificial Sweeteners: To enhance sweetness while also reducing calories, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are commonly used. While artificial sweeteners can help , manage weight gain and blood sugar, and are generally considered safe, they can lead to negative side effects such headaches. Natural sweeteners, such as fruit sweeteners, offer an enhancement to flavor without the risk of adverse effects.
- Trans Fat: An unsaturated fat that has been hydrogenated in order to extend shelf life or improve product consistency, trans fat is no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. The consumption of trans fat, although common in processed baked goods, can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, inflammation and diabetes. Some options to reduce trans fat include using butter instead of margarine, and coconut or olive oil instead of vegetable oil.