Ice cream may look harmless and fun. But inside, there could be dangerous chemicals lurking. Many companies are looking to increase profits and reduce production costs. One way to do this is by adding various chemicals in food products. Many chemicals can be added to ice cream for various reasons. Here are some of the chemicals that can be used as additives:
- Diethyl glycol (DEG) DEG is used as a cheap substitute of eggs as a thickening agent for ice cream. FDA has stated that DEG shouldn’t be added in toothpaste, so it shouldn’t be used as additives in ice cream. DEG is typically used to make plasticisers and polyester resins. People also use DEG to make paint solvent.
- Piperonal: Also known as heliotropin, it’s a cheap substitute for real vanilla. It is an irritant for human skin and considered as moderately toxic. Piperonal is used as a substance to kill lice, so it would be toxic for your body cell as well.
- Ethyl acetate (EA): EA is an artificial pineapple flavoring. It’s originally used as cleaner for textiles and cleaners. In paints, EA is used as hardener or actvator. Nail polish removers and glues may contain EA as well. Its vapour could cause various damages on heart, liver and lung.
- Aldehyde C-17: It’s an artificial cherry flavour and it’s an inflammable liquid. Aldehyde C-17 is used to manufacture rubber and plastic.
- Amyl acetate: Also known as banana oil or pentyl acetate, it’s an artificial banana flavoring. It’s used in the industrial process as lacquer and paint solvent.
- Butyraldehyde: Also known as butanal, this chemical is based on butane. In industry, butanal is used to manufacture perfume, textile auxiliaries, cement, polymers and plasticisers.
- Benzyl acetate: It is used to improve the scent of food products. Benzyl acetate is used in lacquers, polishers, inks, soaps and detergents.
- Propylene glycol: Also known as humectants (E15, 20), it is better known as food preservatives. This chemical us used for paint and plastic solvent. This substance in found as well in dishwashing detergent, liquid household cleaning products, anti freeze liquid for cars and deicing fluid for aircrafts. Ingestion of propylene glycol could cause damage on respiratory and urinary systems.
- Sodium benzoate: It’s a common preservative in drinks, foods and ice cream. In fact, it’s among the most publicly used chemical in food products. Sodium benzoate is also used as fuel in the production of fireworks. Research has shown that sodium benzoate is actual a carcinogenic substance. If we consume sodium benzoate, it has the ability to damage our DNA and inactivate it. If enough DNA is damaged, we will start to have various health problems. Wrinkled skin and accelerated aging could be a relatively mild consequence, but Parkinson’s disease and cancer are different matter.
- Potassium sorbate: It is used to prevent the growth of molds and yeast, or to increase the shelf life of processed food. At higher concentration, potassium sorbate is an irritant of the eye, skin and respiratory system. It also shows mutagenic and genotoxic properties to human blood cells.