Some science behind the scenes

Food additives


A great number of chemicals are used to preserve and add 'flavour' to food in the manufacture of food for widespread consumption.  But one preservative and flavouring agent used in enormous quantities is table salt.  Table salt differs from sea salt for example, or crystallised salt in that it contains anticaking agents such as sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate to make it free-flowing.  In other words table salt contains aluminium.

There appears to be a widely held belief that salt does you harm.  But it is not the salt that does you harm, it is the aluminium.  Aluminium preservatives are also used in a host of other food preservatives and at the levels consumed and used they constitute a toxin.

Food Addit Contam. 2005 Mar;22(3):234-44.  Aluminium content of some foods and food products in the USA, with aluminium food additives.  Saiyed SM1, Yokel RA.

The primary objective was to determine the aluminium (Al) content of selected foods and food products in the USA which contain Al as an approved food additive. Intake of Al from the labeled serving size of each food product was calculated. The samples were acid or base digested and analysed for Al using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Quality control (QC) samples, with matrices matching the samples, were generated and used to verify the Al determinations. Food product Al content ranged from <1-27,000 mg kg(-1). Cheese in a serving of frozen pizzas had up to 14 mg of Al, from basic sodium aluminium phosphate; whereas the same amount of cheese in a ready-to-eat restaurant pizza provided 0.03-0.09 mg. Many single serving packets of non-dairy creamer had approximately 50-600 mg Al kg(-1) as sodium aluminosilicate, providing up to 1.5 mg Al per serving. Many single serving packets of salt also had sodium aluminosilicate as an additive, but the Al content was less than in single-serving non-dairy creamer packets. Acidic sodium aluminium phosphate was present in many food products, pancakes and waffles. Baking powder, some pancake/waffle mixes and frozen products, and ready-to-eat pancakes provided the most Al of the foods tested; up to 180 mg/serving. Many products provide a significant amount of Al compared to the typical intake of 3-12 mg/day reported from dietary Al studies conducted in many countries.

PMID:  16019791



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