Preservatives are substances or chemicals added to products such as food, beverages, medicines, paints, biological samples, cosmetics, wood, and other products to prevent decomposition caused by microbial growth or by chemical changes. Preservatives are used in food and beverage products so that they can maintain consistency and product quality, improve or maintain nutritional value, maintain usability, control pH, improve flavor or provide color.
Preservatives are divided into two types, namely natural and artificial preservatives.
Natural preservatives are preservatives derived from plants. For example, cane sugar, brown sugar, salt, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon skin.
While artificial preservatives are preservatives made chemically and synthetically. Examples of artificial preservatives are as follows:
1. Acetic Acid
Asefat acid is known to the public as vinegar. This material produces a sour taste and if the amount is too much it will interfere with taste. Asefat acid is usually used as a complement to foods such as pickles, chicken noodles, meatballs, or soto. Acetic acid has antimicrobial properties. Foods that use acetic acid such as vinegar, among others, pickles, tomato sauce, or chili sauce.
Benzoic acid is found in many forms of benzoic acid and sodium benzoate. Various types of soft drinks, fruit juices, soy sauce, sauce, jam, and agar to use preservatives of this type.
This material can be found in the form of potassium salt or sodium bisulfite. Cut potatoes, pineapple juice, and frozen shrimp are usually preserved with this ingredient.
4. Propyl Galate
Used in food products that contain oil or fat and chewing gum and to slow down odors in sausages. Propyl galate can also be used as an antioxidant.
One safe food preservative is Calcium Propionate and Sodium Propionate. Both are included in the propionic acid group, often used to prevent the growth of fungi or mold. These preservatives are usually used for bread and flour products. Excessive use can cause migraines, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.
6. Potassium nitrite
One safe food preservative is Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) which is Potassium Nitrite. This preservative is white or yellow and its solubility is high in water. This material can inhibit the growth of bacteria in meat and fish in a short time. Calcium nitrite is often used in meat that has been swayed to maintain the red color to always look fresh, such as corned beef. Excessive use can cause poisoning. Besides affecting the ability of blood cells to carry oxygen to various organs of the body, it also causes difficulty breathing, headaches, anemia, inflammation of the kidneys, and vomiting.
Sorbates in the market are acidic or sorbic salts. Sorbat is often used to preserve margarine, fruit juice, wine, cheese and pickles. Sorbic acid is very effective in suppressing mold growth and does not affect food taste at the level allowed.
Eating foods with high artificial preservative content and too much or too often results in the body contracting many health problems. If you eat too much preservative food, especially artificial preservatives, you can experience the following conditions:
1. Changing Behavior, if you or your child consumes foods containing preservatives, especially artificial preservatives, your child will usually become hyperactive.
2. Respiratory Problems, eating too much artificial preservative food is also known to affect breathing. For those of you who have asthma, consumption of artificially preserved foods that are not reasonable can lead to relapse of asthma. The occurrence of infection may also occur due to consumption of certain preservatives
3. Heart Disorders, artificial preservatives can also weaken the function of the heart by disrupting surrounding tissue. In fact, there are also those that can damage blood vessels by making the arteries harden and narrow, so the risk of heart attack increases.
4. Kidney Disorders, food preservatives such as sodium benzoate are permitted by the government. Sodium Benzoate is used to prevent bacterial growth in food so that food can remain durable and last long enough to continue to be consumed. However, eating foods with this type of preservative can actually increase the risk of kidney damage.
5. Indigestion, because it is consumed, artificial preservative foods can have a direct impact on the digestive system. One of them is a complaint of diarrhea that can make someone lose large amounts of fluid.
6. Brain Cancer, Nitrates and nitrite are two of the many preservatives that are widely used by processed food manufacturers. The danger of preservatives in these foods, if used for a long time can cause a person suffering from brain cancer. The danger of brain cancer alone is death.
7. Nervous Disorders, consuming too much artificial preservative will damage nerve function.
In order to avoid diseases and disorders above, then let start eating foods without preservatives. Foods or drinks that do not contain preservatives usually only last 1-2 days. Food and beverages without preservatives must be consumed immediately so they are not rotten or damaged. So, be diligent diligently you see the composition of products contained in other stores or supermarkets. Usually some products sold in stores or supermarkets contain preservatives. Even better if you eat the food you make or make it yourself. It’s safer, because you know the composition and if you care about your health you won’t use preservatives.