A humectant is a substance when used as a food additive, helps in keeping moisture in the food. Humectant (451(i)) is a white powder that is manufactured in chemical laboratories by mixing disodium phosphate and monosodium phosphate. It is an alkaline salt and is widely used to preserve meat and seafood like bacon, sausages, canned tuna and sardines by raising their pH in order to increase their water-holding capacity which further helps retain their colour and texture. This gives the products a fresh look and also prevents their spoilage.
Humectant (451(i)) if consumed excessively may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.(1) Also consuming too many foods containing Humectant (451(i)) can raise phosphate levels in the body resulting in heart disease, decreased bone density, premature aging, kidney issues and even premature death. This additive should be avoided by those with a kidney condition (chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, heart condition, those with inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and those who have osteoporosis/osteopenia. This is because consuming Humectant (451(i)) will worsen these conditions.(2)
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