Does reading the ingredient list on some of your favorite packaged foods give you cause for concern? Some foods have such a long list of ingredients with complicated names – it can make you wonder what you’re actually eating!
As consumer demand for simpler foods with simpler ingredient lists increases, more and more food manufacturers are moving towards clean labelling. Clean labelling involves providing clear labels with easy-to-understand ingredients, as well as eliminating certain artificial ingredients.
A recent article published at www.fooddive.com looked at the seven top priority ingredients that manufacturers are phasing out of their products (see the link below for more).
The following is a brief look at the top 5.
Artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic food additives (e.g., aspartame and sucralose) that serve as a substitute for sugar. They provide a sweet taste like sugar, but contain significantly less calories. For decades, there have been concerns that artificial sweeteners may cause a variety of health problems including cancer.
High fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn starch. It is comparable to sugar in flavour and sweetness, but because it is a liquid ingredient, it is easier to add to certain products. It is also one of the cheapest available sweeteners. Along with all other fructose-containing sweeteners, it has been linked to the rising rates of obesity.
Trans fats. Trans fats are created when liquid vegetable oils are hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated, to make them more solid. Trans fats have been shown to increase “bad” blood cholesterol, decrease “good” blood cholesterol, and increase the risk of heart disease.
Artificial colors. Although generally considered to be safe, there is a consumer push for naturally colored products.
Artificial preservatives. Artificial preservatives are chemical substances which are added to food products to slow down spoilage, discoloration, or contamination by bacteria and other pathogens. Some artificial preservatives, such as nitrates and nitrites, have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.