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How does the FDA regulate the food additive industry?

In the United States, the food industry is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, this federal agency has been responsible for the food safety and thus has to decide whether or not certain food additives are suitable to enter the market. To this day, the FDA, and the previous organizations have accepted more than 10,000 food additives.   

Of course, not all food additives can be approved, this is why every time a manufacturer wants to try and incorporate a new food additive on the market he has to go through a procedure along with the FDA which will determine whether or not this food additive is safe. Another interesting rule is that all food additives are deemed not suitable for consummation until they actually have been proved harmless. This is especially the case for color additives that are seen as being more dangerous than other food additives.

Most of the products approved by the FDA thus had to go through a process of analysis in order to establish whether or not they were safe to consume. This also depends on the legislation of the country or the area in which the products are being used. For instance, some food additives may be approved by US organizations while they are banned in Europe and vice versa.

There is another way for a food additive to enter the market. The manufacturer can carry out a study about the ingredient he is trying to incorporate, explaining how it is harmless. This process could lead the product to being commercialized after having being classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).

To determine compliance, FDA observes the substance in itself, the short and/or long-terms health effects, and the conditions of use. This is why for instance some color additives have been banned in the U.S; because it has been proven that they were noxious for our health. They could indeed increase the hyperactivity of children, as well as provoking eczema and allergic reactions, among others.

These elements show us how important it is for the US food industry to be regulated by an organization such as the FDA. By constantly putting these food additives to the test and carrying out specific studies, it is possible to establish which ingredients are harmless and which have to be banned from our consummation.

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Which laws cover food additives?

Given the fact that food additives are mostly chemicals products, it was necessary to create a strict regulation when it comes to their implementation and commercialization. Indeed, not all food additives are suitable for entering the market. A lot of studies have thus to be carried out in order to establish whether or not these chemicals can be used in the processing of our food.

Of course, the laws may change according the country or the geographical area. For instance, the European Union has its own way of doing things. Food additives used inside this area must thus meet its requirements. Indeed, the Regulation 1333/2008 has been in force in the European Union since January 2010, and has affected the entire area. Moreover, every chemical has to go through an authorization process in order for it to be accepted. This process is divided into two main parts. First of all, a report has to be sent to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This first step, called scientific evaluation phase, may take approximately 9 months. The second step, the decision phase, is when the comitology with the European Parliament takes place. If a food additive has made it through this process, it will be added to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Besides, there are also a lot of food additives laws that restrict the amount of chemicals that can be used in the processing of food. For instance, when it comes to meat and fish, the nitrate concentration cannot exceed 600mg/kg.  Otherwise it could be dangerous to eat. This kind of regulation applies for all the food additives we commonly use.

To help the industries in the processing of our food, they can use the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) which refers to the maximum amount of a substance an individual can ingest daily. Obviously, if the amount of chemicals used in a product goes beyond that limit, it would be illegal to sell it given the harmful effects that could affect the person. This rule has been created by the professor René Truhaut. It was first introduced in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

There are thus a lot of elements the manufacturers and the scientists who create food additives have to take into consideration. Indeed, not respecting these rules and laws could prevent the product from being commercialized.

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Where did food additives originate from?

Food additives are now widely used across the world. They are an important part of our daily life; we all have heard things about them, whether they were good or bad things. It is a very complicated topic. If you want to get a clear understanding of what they are, we might as well start from the beginning. Where actually did food additives originate from? Not everybody is able to answer this very specific question.

They were first used in the Antiquity. Of course, the methods and the products used were not the same as today, but it was still common. For instance, the curing, which refers to the preservation of the products using for instance salt, was used in the Roman Empire. It was so important that Roman soldiers were actually paid in salt (hence the word “salary” coming from the Latin word “salarium”). This goes to show us how important food additives were back then. To go even further, some hieroglyphics studies have shown that ancient Egyptians may have used yeast in the fermentation of alcoholic beverage as well as in the leavening of bread.  

We were thus not the first ones to use them, but we most definitely were the first to use them to such an important extent.

The food additives used in the Antiquity were actually natural. But times have changed and the globalization has meant that in order to get food from one side of the world to another it is necessary to treat foods with more complex conservation methods: chemical food additives.

The question being: what are the chemicals used in this process? Some food additives may have some noxious effects while some may be harmless.

Hence the growing concerns related to this specific topic. Which is why the WHO decided to go one step further to limit food additives that are harmful to human health.

For instance the Red 2G color dye (E218) was forbidden in 2007 because it was seen as potentially harmful.

Nowadays it is very hard to find a product that has not been processed.

Companies like us produce products that would not present such negative side effects. We have started to produce sulphite-free, phosphate-free and carbonate-free food additives which are harmless for their users.

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pH7 at Seafood Expo Global 2017

pH7 Food Technology will be present at Seafood Expo Global 2017, the world’s largest and most prestigious fishery seafood fair with more than 1,700 exhibiting companies from more than 75 countries.

The expo will take place from 25 to 27 April at the Brussels Expo, Belgium. You can visit us from 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 10 am to 4 pm on Thursday. We will be waiting for you at booth 1433 in Hall 7.

Request your invitation to our tech-sales team:  comercial@ph7foodtech.com.

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Food additives: characteristics and purpose

Despite being in the majority of the food we eat, food additives are too often complete strangers. The use of these components is very particular because they are not ingredients; their function has more to do with product elaboration and also its subsequent conservation and/or transportation. These components are elements of many products we consume, and despite they are often thought as a modern invention, they have been used for centuries.

There are many properties attributable to food additives; these components provide food with a more attractive appearance to the consumer without affecting its nutritional properties. Some of their uses are:

  • Improve food conservation.
  • Modify characteristics like smell, flavour or colour.
  • Contribute to the elaboration process with its stabilizing properties and also changing the structure and/or physical aspects of food.

Their status as food components, make them appear on the labeling of any food packaging: additives are designated by the letter “E” and are followed by three or four digits: the first one indicates the category to which this component belongs; the second one indicates the family of the additive, and the others designate more precisely what kind of substance are.

Following this classification we have:

  • E-1XX: colourings.
  • E-2XX: preservatives.
  • E-3XX: antioxidants.
  • E-4XX: stabilizers, emulsifiers, thickening agents and gelling agents.
  • E-5XX: anti-caking agents, acidulants and acidity regulators.
  • E-6XX: flavor enhancers.
  • E-9XX: artificial sweeteners and others.

The properties of each of these food additive classifications changes depending on the type: for example, antifoams prevent or reduce foaming in products; gelling agents serve to add a specific texture to the food through the formation of a gel; antioxidants are capable to extend the life of the food once are kept in warehouses (protected against the effect of oxidation) and the artificial sweeteners add a sweet touch to any product, despite coming from a different source than sugar.

It is very logic that some rules or mechanisms should be followed given the widespread use of food additives. There are three basic conditions for the correct use of any food additive:

  • A technological need has to be demonstrated, which cannot be supplied by other methods (both technological and economic).
  • These food additives and its dose cannot represent a threat to  consumer’s health.
  • Consumers cannot be misled in any case.

In addition to these three conditions there are other aspects to have in consideration, all based on the ideas of responsible use: the utilization of these components have to represent a technological advantage and a benefit for the consumer:

  • The conservation of the nutritional qualities of food.
  • An enhance of the product stability or the improvement of its organoleptic properties.
  • This use has to lead to an improvement of the processes related to the manufacture, transformation or storage of food as long as this does not suppose to disguise defective parts.
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Fish Burguers

Seafood sector companies are interested in developing fish burgers with the aim of launching to the market a product of good quality with a simple elaboration, with all nutritional values that offer seafood products.

Nowadays, consumers are looking for food with high nutritious quality and easy preparation. Fish burgers are a clear example. This format is aimed at several sectors of the population. Mainly children that normally deny seafood products. They offer several advantages as boneless, smooth flavor and great juiciness.

In reference to nutritional values, it would be interesting to make a comparison between a meat burger and a fish burger. A difference to emphasize is the type of fat, in the meat predominate the saturated fats whereas in the fish stands out for its content in polyunsaturated fat omega 3, beneficial for the cardiovascular health.

In order to take advantage of the losses of the manipulation of the fish processes, pH7 Food Technology provides formulas for the cohesion and the ligament of these ingredients. It also allows to increase the retention of liquid and reduce the oxidation of the mass, thus conserving its natural color.

For more information, please contact our Technical-Commercial Department: comercial@ph7foodtech.com

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GLASS 20, one of our star products 2016

Our glazer agent GLASS 20 has been one of our best selling products in 2016.

A product studied and developed to avoid the dehydration of shellfish, cephalopod and fish during the freezing period. It is added to the glazing water in low concentrations providing elasticity and antioxidant properties, avoiding ice layer breaks in the freezing process. When used, uniform protective layer of ice is obtained from surface burns caused by low temperatures. Giving the product of brightness, attractive and a very good presence for the consumer.

This product is our solution for improving the quality of finished products that require a transparent, shiny appearance for marketing purposes.

Our glazer agents (GLASS 20, GLASS 10) provide a physical barrier that protects food from environmental degradation while ensuring a clean, transparent texture.

This is a product which is suitable for all types of fish however it is cut and presented. It provides a protection and shine during freezing.

For any further information, please contact our tech-sales team on: comercial@ph7foodtech.com

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VANNAMEI TREATED WITH CRUSTAXYL (INDIA)

Following strong interest of Crustaxyl at the recently concluded 20th India International Seafood Show 2016 held last September in Visakhapatnam, India, pH7 Food Technology’s technical team has moved back to the East Coast of the country to conduct trials of shrimp ‘Vannamei’ with our black spot inhibitor without sulfites.

Tests were carried out both on the farm as well as at the processing plant (factory) where the samples were subjected to transport, firing, cooling room storage as well as freezing tests. Month by month we will analyze the samples that were left in freezing to check the effectiveness of Crustaxyl additive.

We would like to thank the company Liberty and its entire team for the dedication and willingness they offered in the different working days.

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TRITON, NEW PH7 DISTRIBUTOR IN INDIA

Triton Trading Corporation is the sole distributor of pH7 food additives in India which are imported from Spain.

pH7 additives ensuring the greatest possible freshness and presentation of seafood products when they reach the consumer, as well as greater nutritional and economic value.

Triton Trading Corporation aims at providing comprehensive services for seafood exporters with a single point of contact for their various requirements. Currently they are concentrating on the distribution of high quality food additives, mainly moisture retainers, whiteners, glazing agents.

They always keep the international standards in all their dealing.

TRITON TRADING CORPORATION

Email: tritontradingcorp@gmail.com

Office nº: 04782879233

Mobile no: 08301918750

Website: www.tritontraders.com

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TECHNICAL CONSULTANCY IN TUNISIA

pH7 Food Technology technical team has recently visited the company L’Homard in Sousse (Tunisia) to carry out:

  • “in situ” treatments for octopus and cuttlefish for the demanding Italian market
  • check the results of Crustaxyl (black sport inhibitor without sufitees) in tiger shrimps
  • start preparing the new season of Tunisia shrimp which is a product highly appreciated but very sensitive to melanosis because two enzyme systems are involved in the production of colored quinones.