Food And Health

TransFats :

  • Trans fats, also called partially hydrogenated oils, are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid. They do help give a more solid texture to certain foods, like baked goods.
  • Saturated fats found in nuts, vegetable oils and fish are the best for you. Saturated fats mostly derived from animals are less healthy and should be less than 10 per cent of a person’s daily calories.

Why are they bad?

  • Trans fats can raise “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol. That can clog arteries and contributes to heart disease.

In News:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will seek to eliminate majority of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from the country’s food supply by 2018.
  • The decision comes after years of lobbying by health advocates and scientists that artificial oils, commonly called “trans fats”, clog arteries and raise the risk of heart disease.
  • Since 2006, the FDA had insisted that food firms include transfat content information on labels so that the users could make informed decision and as a result of which consumption of such items had fallen down drastically
  • The FDA aims to revoke the current status of PHOs as a “generally recognised as safe” food product and reclassify it as a “food additive.” This implies that manufacturers would no longer be able to use the oils in other foods without prior regulator approval.

 MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG) :

  • One of the most abundant naturally-occurring non-essential amino acid.
  • MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer. It is particularly popular in Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given MSG its generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation. The European Union classifies it as a food additive permitted in certain foods and subject to quantitative limits.
  • MSG and its variants are not in the list of the parameters to be tested by FSSAI
  • According to FSSA(Food safety and standards act) of India : foods with any ingredient that naturally contains MSG cannot add a label “No added MSG” on their packaging, as this could give a misleading impression that the product contains no MSG.
  • Added MSGmeans :many food brands add “taste enhancers” indirectly through hydrolysed vegetable protein and ribonucleotide (extracted from fish and meat), which are other forms of MSG. This enhances the taste four times more than what MSG does, according to experts..

Lead :

High lead content is a health hazard because lead poisoning,

In children

  • Can affect cognitive development -> Damage to brain and nervous system can cause behavioural problems.
  • Developmental delays , hyperactivity
  • Anaemia , liver, kidney damage etc

In adults

  • Poor muscle co ordination
  • Damage to sensory and motor nerves
  • Reproductive problems (decreased sperm count, Retarded fetal development)
  • Increased BP , hearing and vision impairment

In News :

Because MAGGI Noodles which are supposed to be banned because of presence of

  1. lead levels higher than the permissible quantity of 2.5 ppm (parts per million);
  2. misleading labelling on the package that stated “No added MSG”; and
  3. Release of “Maggi Oats Masala Noodle with Tastemaker” without product approval.
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