Are additives in cereal bad for you? Is trisodium phosphate in cereal good or bad for you? ‘The sunsets in the West and rises in the East.’ That is a fact.
It is also a fact that cereals have additives and preservatives in them both to enhance their flavour and taste and make them last longer, and to boost their nutritional value.
On this same, there is indeed trisodium phosphate in cereal. This blog post discusses what it is and if it is good or bad for you.
What is Trisodium Phosphate Anyway?
Trisodium phosphate is an additive which is commonly found in prepackaged cereals.
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows cereal manufacturers to include trisodium phosphate in cereals (and in other foods) because it has declared it to be a ‘safe’ substance.
But is this really true? Mounting new evidence seems to suggest that eating cereals (and other foods) rich in trisodium phosphate can actually be bad for your health if you eat foods rich in them for a long period of time.
More About Trisodium Phosphate
Before discussing the pros and cons of trisodium phosphate, it’s time to discuss exactly what trisodium phosphate is in more detail.
Trisodium phosphate is an artificial compound which was initially created when scientists mixed salt (sodium) with a phosphorous derived chemical compound which is known as inorganic phosphate.
In its natural state, phosphorous is a key mineral which foods like milk, beans, meat, fish, poultry, and nuts.
Because it occurs naturally, it is referred to as organic phosphorus and is necessary for maintaining good bone health, repairing cells, and helping muscles repair themselves.
Inorganic Trisodium Phosphate
While the organic version of trisodium phosphate is beneficial for the body, the same cannot be said about its lab-created counterpart inorganic trisodium phosphate.
Though its main and core ingredients come from the same base compounds which make organic trisodium phosphate, it is an artificial chemical which is added to food to enhance its flavour and prolong its shelf life.
Why Add It to Foods
Inorganic trisodium phosphate is primarily found in fast food and highly processed foods.
Its high sodium (salt) levels make it the perfect preservative. It is oftentimes used with other phosphates as additives.
Trisodium phosphate is excellent in terms of making food less acidic and therefore, tastier.
This additive also dramatically enhances the texture of baked goods and processed meats.
If you buy a lot of white (processed) bread, cakes, muffins, and cake mixes and read the main and active ingredients on the sides of their boxes, you will find trisodium phosphate listed there.
They perform the same function as yeast (both organic and inorganic) in that they help foods made out of wheat flour raise and maintain their form.
Companies which make processed foods like white bread, cakes, muffins, and cake mixes use trisodium phosphate( trisodium phosphate in cereal ) mainly because of its leavening abilities –
Its ability to make these foods rise when being baked while maintaining its original (unbaked) form.
It is it Harmful
Trisodium phosphate is also used by those companies which make meat and seafood which are going to be stored on a store shelf, refrigerator, or freezer for long periods of time.
Because trisodium phosphate is a preservative, it helps these foods stay fresh longer by assisting them in retaining their natural moisture for more extended periods.
This also dramatically increases its shelf life and keeps them from spoiling quickly and easily.
This is important because spoiled processed foods can’t be sold. The manufacturer will then sustain a net loss.
Because trisodium phosphate has a neutral value on the Ph scale, it neutralizes the Ph levels of these foods so that they are neither too acidic or too bitter.
If they were too acidic, they would taste terrible because their Ph content would be too high.
If their Ph levels were too low, they would be bitter. Not only would they feel awful, but they would be prone to spoil easier and sooner.
The additive is much sought after by food manufacturers because it is a thickening agent.
This is important because the foods they make must have their moisture retained, and one of the best ways to do this is to make the food much thicker in general.
It also keeps these foods from darkening and their ingredients from separating.
To use an example of food separating because it didn’t have enough additives, processed canned macaroni and cheese can spoil fast if nothing is added to it because its water and oil content will easily separate.
This will make the macaroni inedible and therefore, unsaleable.
Should You be Consuming Foods With High Levels of It?
This question should be better rephrased, “Are there any negative side effects associated with eating foods which in trisodium phosphate?
Major government agencies around the world, including the American Food and Drug Agency (FDA), seem to think not.
This is because they approve the usage of trisodium phosphate in food, saying that it is a perfectly safe chemical to use.
However, their findings and conclusions are based on limited numbers of clinical trials and studies, many of which may be several years old and therefore severely outdated.
New research seems to indicate that trisodium phosphate may not be as safe as many government agencies would like you to believe.
While no doubt consuming limited quantities of trisodium phosphate in cereal (in food) is harmless, the same is not valid if you consume nothing but foods which are rich in trisodium phosphate.
Believe it or not
Believe it or not, most people around the world have diets which consist primarily of fast food, junk food, and preprocessed foods.
These foods are loaded with trisodium phosphate, and this is where the problems can begin.
One of the main issues many of those who are against trisodium phosphate have with the additive is that it is easily and quickly metabolized (digested) and absorbed by the body.
Data from several research studies indicate that the human body will absorb all or almost all of trisodium phosphate in cereal found in fast food, junk food, and preprocessed food.
Because it is an artificial chemical, it affects the body in different ways than its organic counterpart would.
It also must be noted that because organic phosphate is more complex, its molecular structure is different.
Therefore it is metabolized differently and absorbed the body at much slower rates and in much lower quantities.
Research studies indicate that the average human only absorbs 40-60% of the organic phosphates he or she may consume in real foods.
Food Additives List And What They Do
Because inorganic phosphates are metabolized and absorbed by the body more comfortable, faster, and in larger quantities,
There is always the concern that people who primarily eat foods which are rich in these chemicals will end up consuming too many phosphates and will,
Therefore, end up with dangerously high levels of phosphates in their bodies this is a problem because phosphates are like a toxin.
If you eat foods with high levels of inorganic phosphates (trisodium phosphate), you are at a higher risk of developing severe health problems, including heart disease, decreased bone density and osteoporosis.
Premature ageing, early kidney failure, among others. If these health conditions are severe enough, eating high levels of inorganic phosphates can even kill you!
This is something to think about the next time you think about gobbling down a whole pack of Parle biscuits or an entire carton of french fries from McDonald’s.
Should you avoid eating foods containing trisodium phosphates altogether?
The answer is, “it depends.” For more information visit gohealthline.com