Permitted Sequestrant (INS 385) also known as Sodium calcium edetate is popularly used as a sequestrant in food products whose function is to bind to metals. Once the metals are bound (or sequestered), they are prevented from taking part in chemical reactions that would lead to deterioration in colour, flavour and texture, hence, it’s used in food to preserve flavour, colour and texture. It is also one of the most commonly used food preservatives worldwide as it can extend food shelf life. It is usually available in white crystalline granules or white powder form. Apart from use in food products, it is also used as a medication to treat lead poisoning.
Excess consumption of Permitted Sequestrant (INS 385) can affect the absorption of zinc, copper, and iron in the body, leading to mineral deficiencies. It can also cause stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, hematuria (blood in urine) and other harmful reactions.(1) It has been suggested that Permitted Sequestrant (INS 385)is not safe to consume more than 3 grams per day as too much can cause kidney damage and even death.(2)
Myth : It does not cause cancer or birth defects.(3)
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