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People's Daily: Food additives are indispensable

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[Abstract]:
The National Food Safety Week was held recently. The National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center hired experts to explain the national food safety standards and food safety risk assessment knowledge t

The National Food Safety Week was held recently. The National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center hired experts to explain the national food safety standards and food safety risk assessment knowledge to the public through exhibition demonstrations and popular science seminars. "Necessary" and other issues of public concern, Liu Zhaoping, a nutrition expert at the China CDC, said that food additives are not equal to illegal additives, and standardized use will not endanger human health.

Our reporter Yu Jingying

The National Food Safety Week was held recently. The National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center hired experts to explain the national food safety standards and food safety risk assessment knowledge to the public through exhibition demonstrations and popular science seminars. "Necessary" and other issues of public concern, Liu Zhaoping, a nutrition expert at the China CDC, said that food additives are not equal to illegal additives, and standardized use will not endanger human health.

Indispensable additives in modern foods

There is no modern food industry without food additives, and food additives can improve the color, aroma and taste of food. Melamine, Sudan red, plasticizers, etc. are not food additives, but illegal additions.

Food additive refers to synthetic or natural substances added to foods to improve food quality and color, aroma, taste and the need for preservation and processing. In the modern food industry, it is essential as a "lubricant".

Experts say that without preservatives, many foods will spoil in a short period of time and will not be able to transport long distances. People will not have a wide variety of food choices. At present, many foods on the market claim to be “preservative-free” and “no-addition”, which are favored by consumers. Many consumers are far away from food additives, and foods containing additives such as preservatives are harmful to health. Therefore, consumers It is better to buy those so-called "no added foods" at a high price.

Experts from the National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center explained that products that claim to be “preservative-free” and “no additives” are actually misleading consumers and give consumers the illusion. In fact, preservatives are mainly used to control microbial infection. If some foods contain no preservatives, the shelf life of foods will be very short, and they will be more easily contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms. Pathogenic microbial metabolism will produce toxic substances and be safe for humans. create a threat. Preservatives that have been evaluated for safety can prevent this from happening, and at the same time, these preservatives themselves do not pose a health hazard to consumers. It can be said that food preservatives will not only make our foods "unsafe", but to a certain extent, it is a defender of food quality and safety.

Experts emphasize that food additives must be used according to the specified variety, range and dosage. Reasonable use of food additives can improve the safety of foods. For example, soy sauce without preservatives will be mildewed, and edible oils without antioxidants will produce scent, while the health risks of mycotoxins and oil rancidity are far greater than the preservative itself.

Integrate enforced standards

According to statistics, there are more than 5,000 food safety standards in China. Researcher Wang Zhutian, assistant director of the Food Risk Assessment Center, said that the number of standards is not necessarily a good thing.

Wang Zhutian explained that too many food standards may bring two problems, one is repeated crossovers and contradictions, and the other is excessive management. Repeated crossovers and contradictions of standards can cause great inconvenience to the use of standards, not only for producers to find the standards they should follow, but also for the phenomenon of “a lot of standards and no use”. Even the lawless elements are sometimes squandered, leading to a mixed situation in the market.

Wang Zhutian said that strict food standards are not necessarily scientific food standards. The current food standard cleaning work is to force the current edible agricultural products (5.92, -0.09, -1.50%) quality and safety standards, food hygiene standards, food quality standards and relevant food industry standards in accordance with the requirements of the Food Safety Law. The implementation of the standards is integrated to establish a unique mandatory national food safety standards system, in an effort to resolve this chaotic situation.

Wang Zhutian emphasized: "The establishment of a scientific, unified and authoritative food safety standard system will not only lay a solid foundation for ensuring food safety, but also promote the development of the food industry."

Food safety standards must be in line with national conditions

At present, China's food safety standards system has formed a relatively complete system after years of development. It has gradually been in line with international standards in the procedures, principles and frameworks for standard setting. However, the standard and international standards do not mean copying international standards.

According to Fan Yongxiang, director of the Food Risk Assessment Center, the international standards have no mandatory legal effect for countries, and are generally for reference only. They only play a role in coordinating trade disputes or disputes between countries on specific occasions. Countries should take the results of risk assessment as the main basis, take relevant international standards and risk assessment results as a reference, fully consider the level of social and economic development and objective and actual needs, and formulate national standards that suit their national conditions.

In response to questions from all walks of life about the lack of food safety standards and backwardness, Fan Yongxiang said that compliance with laws and regulations is a major prerequisite for food safety production and management, and the first threshold for food safety. Food safety standards are the second threshold for food safety under this premise. Therefore, any food production and management activities that violate laws and regulations, such as the illegal addition of non-edible substances in food, and the act of adulterating and falsehood, are in violation of the law, and do not need to be based on food safety standards, nor can they be based on no standards. Reasons to evade the responsibility and regulatory responsibility of the producers and operators. For example, he said: "The ‘mixed meat’ that is now appearing is illegal in itself. If food safety standards are set for ‘mixed meat,’ it is ridiculous.”

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Promoting "no pollution" is not scientific

According to food experts, it is unscientific to claim that “no pollution” is true, and its authenticity is questionable. As we all know, microorganisms and some chemical pollutants are ubiquitous in the environment. Therefore, the food and meat we use as food raw materials are difficult to “zero pollution” from the beginning, and the production and processing of food cannot be all in vacuum. It is completed in the process. Therefore, the food we eat may have these pollutions. “No pollution” is very difficult to achieve. What we can do is to control these pollutions without causing damage to consumers' health. Experts remind that consumers must correctly understand these claims, they are likely to be a means for businesses to use consumer misunderstanding of food additives and promote their products.

The illegal addition of food additives includes over-range use, illegal addition, etc., such as melamine, clenbuterol, Sudan red is not a food raw material or food, nor a food additive, but an illegally added non-edible substance, so no matter how much is added, It is illegal. The additive "Lemon Yellow" used in the dyeing taro that appeared some time ago is a food additive that is allowed to be used but cannot be over-sized. Some companies use excessive amounts in the production process for the sale of food, which is beyond the scope of use.