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Tag: Citric Acid

After doing a presentation for the Santa Barbara Girl Scouts, a troop leader came up to me with the empty box from a Lunchables package. She said she thought that given my presentation, I should see what was actually in this product. Notice how I used the word “product” instead of “food.” These are not interchangeable.  My goal with this post is not to make any parent feel bad about feeding their child Lunchables, but rather to open your eyes to what is actually in this item.

I started my research with on the Kraft Lunchables website. When I clicked on the picture of the Bologna + American Cracker Stacker with Juice, this is what it says:

Give them the good stuff. Made with Oscar Mayer bologna made with chicken and pork, Kraft American and Ritz Crackers. Includes Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters.

Nutritional Highlights

  • Excellent Source of Protein, Calcium
  • Crackers made with 5g Whole Grain per serving

Wow, protein, calcium and whole grains? This must be the “good stuff!” Or maybe not…
Continue reading…

Remember Real Housewives of New York City’s, Bethenny Frankel? Apparently, this reality TV star now has her own line of cocktail drinks called Skinnygirl. AccessHollywood reported last week that Whole Foods was pulling Frankel’s Skinnygirl Margaritas from their stores after learning that the cocktail contained a preservative. In a statement to AccessHollywood, Whole Foods said:

“After discovering that [Skinnygirl Margarita] contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it.”

The Skinnygirl website does not include the ingredients in their products, but I was able to find a picture of the ingredient label on FitSugar:

WATER, BLUE AGAVE TEQUILA, AGAVE NECTAR, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVOUR, SUGAR, SODIUM BENZOATE

At first, it looks okay. 7 ingredients is a pretty low number and it is thankfully free of artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. But….and that is a big but (no pun intended), like virtually every pre-mixed cocktail,  it does contain a preservative.  So, what’s the big deal? Here are the possible health effects from consuming sodium benzoate:

“May exacerbate asthma, hyperactive behavior (when consumed in products with certain food colorings), and cause skin rash upon contact. A study in 2007 indicated that it may cause serious cell damage associated with cirrhosis of the liver, ageing, and Parkinson’s disease. In animal studies, there are reports of possible weight gain, liver and kidney issues, and birth defects.”

Be Food Smart Sodium Benzoate Report

Sodium benzoate is found in thousands of foods and beverages and is very difficult to
Continue reading…

Ingredient Spotlight: Citric Acid

This Ingredient Spotlight is a regular feature from Be Food Smart. Check back regularly to see new ingredients.

Today’s additive is Citric Acid, which is one of the most widely used acids in the flavoring industry. It has even been used to dissolve bladder stones!

Citric Acid

Names: Sodium Citrate, E330

Uses: Flavoring, Acid, Antioxidant, Preservative, Emulsifier, Firming Agent

Found In: beverages, soda, ice cream, candy, fruit juice, wine, juice, jam, canned fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit, cheese spreads, dressings, preserves, cheese, mayonnaise

Description: Naturally occurring acid found in citrus, other fruit and coffee. Mainly derived from citrus by fermentation process of the fruit sugars. Produces a sour taste and is one of the most widely used acids in food flavoring. Used to flavor, adjust pH balance, cure meats, prevent certain flavors, firm vegetables, brighten colors and preserve food.

Possible Health Effects: In large or concentrated amounts can cause … continue reading about Citric Acid

Be Food Smart was created to educate and inform the public about what’s really in the foods we eat every day. The site has a huge database of food additives, chemicals, food colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives and allows one to search for over 400 ingredient names. Our unique ingredient reports contain simple and easy to understand descriptions, alternate names, possible health effects, and allergy information. The site is completely free and is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, health care professionals, dietitians, and concerned consumers.