Too Good to be True

USP

I lost my innocence at age 27. It was the day I realized what is on a food label may not really be what is in the food. When the analytical tests showed that the "natural" food flavor I was trying to copy was actually artificial, I was shocked. Now, I look back and think how unreasonable I was. People lie to make money, it exists in every market and food is no exception. When it's too good to be true, it's probably not true. The only way to know if a food flavor has artificial chemicals added is to run an assay on Gas Chromatography (GC), Mass Spectrometer (MS) or perhaps to do Carbon Isotope Testing.  Even then, a person skilled at cheating and lying can may still be able to hide the truth. Although, I've lost my innocence, I'm … [Read more...]

Smoke flavor

Fire and smoke flavor

My husband is trying to kill me. Slowly, like the way he smokes ribs on the barbecue. He loves smoke flavor and he has mastered the art of smoking and slow cooking meat. I find a touch of smoke flavor good, but I am certain too much is bad for you. Smoke flavor is made on a large scale and sold to bacon, ham, hot dog, rib, cheese, sauce and flavor manufacturers. Besides imparting flavor and color, smoke flavor is functional. It creates the skin of the hot dog, it is an antioxidant and an antimicrobial. Smoke flavor manufacturers buy lots of sawdust and burn it. They control the burn and capture the essence generated by the smoke. Sawdust is from wood which is about 40-60% cellulose and 2-30% lignin. Cellulose will produce carbonyls, … [Read more...]

Leave Well Enough Alone?

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In the August 2013 Food Technology, there is an article titled "GRAS: Leave Well Enough Alone" http://www.ift.org/Food-Technology/Past-Issues/2013/August/Columns/PERSPECTIVE.aspx.  GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) refers to food additives used in the USA.  Our laws indicate that all ingredients added to our foods must be GRAS. We add new GRAS materials to our food supply constantly and many of these additives are flavor ingredients. The consumer will not always be aware of these new additives, because they are labeled with generalities such as "flavor". The article "Leave Well Enough Alone" are the thoughts of one person in the food industry. The author, Eric Greenberg writes that "in terms of food ingredients and additives, … [Read more...]

A Mom’s View on Food Safety and Sensationalism, “GMOs & Pink Slime”

Food safety has been in the general media recently. Is it for attention and sensationalism? Do we ignore it, join it or ask for the facts? Facts are always best. It feels good to have a scapegoat for our problems, but it is not productive and can possibly be destructive. Emotional, unthought conclusions should not be considered the truth. For example, my daughter is a brain tumor survivor. She was diagnosed at age two. Brain Tumors are the leading cancer death cause in children. Like any other form of deadly cancer, it is difficult to catch in time. My daughter's tumor was caught in time and she is one of the 5% that survived without major side effects from treatment. Our family is very grateful for this good luck and we thank her doctor … [Read more...]