SUBJECT: HOME ECONOMICS
CLASS: JSS 1
TERM: 1st TERM
TOPIC: Healthy Feeding and Eating Practices (II)
A lot of people maintain bad eating habits, such as going for “cheap” options – such as fast foods, canned goods, and frozen “oven foods”, etc. These bad habits relate to a staggering amount of health problems and diseases. Some effects that come from poor eating habits are listed below:
What are food additives?
Substances that are added to food to maintain or improve the safety, freshness, taste, texture, or appearance of food are known as food additives. Some food additives have been in use for centuries for preservation – such as salt (in meats such as bacon or dried fish), sugar (in marmalade), or sulfur dioxide (in wine).
Food Additives and Harmful Substances
The World Health Organisation (WHO), together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations (UN), group food additives into 3 broad categories based on their functions.
(i) Flavouring agents
(ii) Enzyme preparations
(iii) Other additives
Flavouring Agents – which are added to food to improve aroma or taste – make up the greatest number of additives used in foods. There are hundreds of varieties of flavourings used in a wide variety of foods, from confectionery and soft drinks to cereal, cake, and yoghurt. Natural flavouring agents include nut, fruit and spice blends, as well as those derived from vegetables and wine. In addition, there are flavourings that imitate natural flavours.
Enzyme Preparations – Enzyme preparations are a type of additive that may or may not end up in the final food product. Enzymes are naturally-occurring proteins that boost biochemical reactions by breaking down larger molecules into their smaller building blocks. They are mainly used in baking (to improve the dough), for manufacturing fruit juices (to increase yields), in wine making and brewing (to improve fermentation), as well as in cheese manufacturing (to improve curd formation).
Other Additives – Other food additives are used for a variety of reasons, such as preservation, colouring, and sweetening. They are added when food is prepared, packaged, transported, or stored, and they eventually become a component of the food.
(a) Preservatives can slow decomposition caused by mould, air, bacteria, or yeast. In addition to maintaining the quality of the food, preservatives help control contamination that can cause foodborne illness, including life-threatening botulism.
(b) Colouring is added to food to replace colours lost during preparation, or to make food look more attractive.
(c) Non-sugar sweeteners are often used as an alternative to sugar because they contribute fewer or no calories when added to food.
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