There are still many assumptions that say that Preservatives in food are harmful to health and can cause disease. In fact, there are indeed harmful food preservatives, but there are also someingredient food preservativewhich classified as safe.
Food preservatives are used to inhibit or prevent the decomposition, acidification, deterioration, and fermentation processes in food, caused by bacteria, fungi, and microbes.
Basic Principles of Using Food Preservatives
Basically, preservatives are allowed to be used as long as they are registered and allowed to use the right amount by the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM).
Some food preservatives that are safe and often used are sulfur dioxide, sorbic acid, benzoic acid, citric acid, sorbitol, tartaric acid, and malic acid.
While some of them are safe, you also need to be aware of harmful food preservatives. If consumed in the long term, these ingredients can cause serious health problems. Here are some examples of food preservatives and their harm to the body:
1. Formalin and borax
Both of these preservatives can cause disorders of the skin, heart, respiratory system, and kidneys. Formalin and borax can even damage the brain and nervous system.
2. Sodium benzoate
It is suspected that if this material is used as a food preservative, the risk of hyperactivity, leukemia, and other types of cancer may increase.
3. Sodium nitrate
The use of these preservatives in food is thought to damage blood vessels and make arteries stiff and narrow.
4. TBHQ or tertiary butylhydroquinone
These preservatives can increase the risk of tumor growth, interfere with liver function, and damage nerves.
Foods That Don't Need to Use Preservatives
Actually not all foods have to use preservatives. The use of preservatives is needed to maintain the freshness and quality of food, so that it can still be consumed within a certain period of time. Generally, the types of food that require preservatives are foods that have a high water content or are moist.
One type of food that does not need preservatives is dry food products, such as chips or snacks. These types of food have low moisture and moisture content, so the risk of the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold is also small. Especially if the dry food is packaged properly.
It is important to pay attention to the type of preservatives used in the food you will consume. Make sure the preservatives used are safe, and as much as possible do not consume them in excess.
If you feel you have health problems due to frequent consumption of foods with unsafe preservatives, don't hesitate to check with your doctor.