why so many additives in food

  polish 20:08 23 Feb 2008

i have been wondering why there are so many additives in our food surely they are not really needed you dont need shelf life that some products have when you
read the ingredients there are an awful lot i know with pollution there are alot of things we breath in but why add more surely we can put up with some food not having bright colours

  lisa02 20:25 23 Feb 2008

Simple... don't buy it.

A recent example is a well known brand's ready made spag bol for kids. The salt content and additives where very high. The price was £2.75 (I think) per portion, each one microwaves in 3mins...

In ten/fifteen mins I could rustle up an easy tomato sauce and cook some pasta at a fraction of the cost and it would be much healthier.

Saving those few minutes in cooking time cost about £4.00 and filled the kids with unnecessary crap.

  polish 20:31 23 Feb 2008

lisa02 i realise that but it is not always that easy
even a simple packet of crisps can contain alot of additives we always try to cook healthy food our selves as alot of people we have busy lives surely the food companys could do more but maybe go for the quick buck option

  wee eddie 20:57 23 Feb 2008

Unfortunately we are the reason that those additives are there.

We don't buy things that we think are the wrong colour, for example: If you cut a slice of good Sirloin Steak and put it on the cold shelf it goes brown and the marbling becomes yellow.

If you put some, fast grown, Sirloin on the same shelf. There is no marbling to go yellow and you sprinkle it with ***** which keeps it red and bright. It sells whereas the better, tastier, meat will remain un-sold as most buyers don't like the brown colour or the sight of marbling.

  Earthsea 20:58 23 Feb 2008

click here has a lot of info.

It's a common misconception to think all E numbers are bad; for instance, some are used as sweeteners to replace sugar.

  Miros 21:22 23 Feb 2008

Leave any beef sitting in it's own juice's open to the air and it will oxidize and taste like **** or tainted would be a more polite way of saying it, this is why beef is hung!

  Forum Editor 22:43 23 Feb 2008

Beef is aged because enzymes act on the protein fibres of the meat to break them down, and make the meat tender. Dry ageing, which is done at a low temperature, also improves the flavour. Generally, beef is aged for around two weeks, but I've had steaks in New York that had been aged for two months, and they were the best I've ever tasted.

In actual fact, Beef is extremely tender shortly after the animal has been killed - it toughens within hours, because rigor mortis shortens the fibres.

  Miros 00:11 24 Feb 2008

Agreed but do not ever leave a slice of beef in it's juices (blood) say on a plate open to the atmosphere as I assure you it will spoil.

I have had to send more than one steak back because of the above, and when I informed the chef that it was oxidized and he did not understand what I meant I then new he lacked experience, or to be blunt he did not know his job.

Needles to say I never ate there again.

  wee eddie 09:43 24 Feb 2008

This has nothing to do with the bright red colour of the meat that you see on the Supermarket Shelf (or many Butcher's for that matter).

The process of browning that occurs when freshly cut meat is exposed to the atmosphere is the hemoglobin changing to carboxihemoglobin but that is not the taste that you are noticing.

That taste is the action of bacteria on the surface. Those bacteria are harmless but if the meat is left for several days, while stilled chilled, it develops a strong aroma. The same happens to the treated meat but it retains its bright red colour as the bacteria are colourless.

The deterioration of meat is a different ballgame altogether.

p.s. FE ~ We used to have our beef hung for about 21 days.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:10 24 Feb 2008

"Beef is extremely tender shortly after the animal has been killed"

Couldn't agree more, best beef I ever tasted was in a restaurant next to the Bull Ring in Valencia, the bull had been fighting less than an hour before we ate.

  Miros 14:19 24 Feb 2008

I have no problem with beef being hung, please read and digest (no pun intended) what I said, which was in reference to 'PUT IT ON on the cold shelf' in your posting:
" If you cut a slice of good Sirloin Steak and put it on the cold shelf it goes brown and the marbling becomes yellow."

Put on is not the same to me as hung up, two different actions entirely.

The problem with a lot of beef today is that it is not hung long enough! Enough said?

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