Babies may be more exposed to food additives – Revista Galileo

Children may be exposed to food additives (Photo: Providence Dusset / Unsplash)

Over the past decade, science has shown an increase in purchases of processed foods, especially over-processed foods, in Brazil and around the world, often marketing strategies aimed at children. Typically, these products contain, among their ingredients, food additives, which, among other technical purposes, are added to change the taste, color, flavor and extend the shelf life of food. Researchers at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (NUPPRE-UFSC) Food Production Research Center have reviewed the use of additives by children and adolescents to understand what science knows. Public Health Journal Thursday (28).

To conduct the study, scientists reviewed articles published since 2000, as well as official documents on the use of additives in childhood and the consequences of their health and the use of additives in processed foods. In all, more than 30 studies from about 20 countries were analyzed.

From the review, the author mentions a potentially high cost of additions in childhood – especially dyes. However, no articles were found that analyzed the simultaneous use of different additions and incremental additions by children over time. Mariana Kramer, the study’s first author, warns, “We need to evaluate the health effects of using multiple additives in the same diet.” “During the day, individuals consume a variety of foods that may be the source of various additives.”

Although the use of these substances meets the global standards defined by the Codex Elementarias program from the FAO and WHO, there are limitations to the safety assessment of the use of these substances: most research animal models or In vitroIt is not always possible for people to extrapolate results.

“It is known that substances in each organism react in different ways,” said Rosana Provensa, a researcher who signed the article. “Furthermore, safety assessment studies have systemic limitations, such as the use of small samples without considering the toxic effects of substances or combinations of different nature.”

An example of this problem has been cited in the study. A study analyzed by scientists found that separating benzoate and sorbate preservatives did not cause toxic effects in mammals. However, when they reach the stomach and come in contact with other additives, they can form potential carcinogenic substances.

The lack of information on the safety of the use of food additives is especially important for children, since the maximum limit for adding these substances to each diet is determined by body weight per kilogram, taking into account the average weight of adults – and the underweight of the child population. Also, in proportion to their weight, children drink more water and eat more food than the average adult. “It’s important to remember that children have more time to develop chronic diseases associated with exposure to the joints,” comments Kramer.

For researchers, the review emphasizes the importance of promoting an extended techno-scientific debate aimed at establishing strict parameters of toxicity and the use of additives specifically aimed at children.

“In light of consumer health risks, it is expected that measures will be promoted that will allow consumers to clearly identify dietary supplements, including quantity, so that they can make conscious and informed choices,” reflects lawyer Cecilia Currie, co-author of the study and Põe no Róu. Leader, a project that works for clearer rules for food labeling. “Based on the constitutional principle of caution, it is the duty of the state to promote measures to protect consumer health.”


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