Chemicals We Consume

 Chemicals We Consume

No matter how much we hanker after natural and organic food, we just cannot escape some chemicals that will find their way into our food particles. The Australian Total Diet Study is an undertaking by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) that checks once every three years all the common food items we consume and tests it for harmful chemicals. The 24th Australian Total Diet Study, concluded in April 2014, analysed 94 Australian foods and beverages, testing them for three food chemicals and 30 packaging chemicals and printing inks. The first phase report focuses on acrylamide, aluminium and perchlorates.
Acrylamide forms naturally in carbohydrate foods when they’re heated past a certain temperature by roasting, grilling, toasting or frying. So when you heat up a bowl of rice in the microwave or toss a couple of bread slices into the toaster, you will create acrylamide, which appears as tasty browning with a crunchy texture. Though its effect on human beings has not been conclusively proven, it is known to cause cancer in animals. Therefore the World Health Organisation has decreed that we should reduce exposure to it.
While it was found that Australian foods in general Chemicalsstayed around fifty times under the safety threshold for acrylamide, the recommended level is five hundred times lower. Academics point out, though, that the warnings that have been raised against over-consumption of these foods has much to do with obesity and less to do with acrylamide poisoning. Minimising fried foods and processed carbohydrates makes sense as a food habit regardless of the amount of acrylamide they contain.
The study also tested for aluminium, and though they found increased dietary exposures for one tiny segment of the population, it was concluded that the amount of excess was not significant enough to cause problems for the population. Even when it came to perchlorates, the study concluded the same thing: eight tap water samples from across Australia were tested and found to be below the limit of reporting.
So while the authorities are in business trying to keep us safe, it pays to stay in the know what we consume in the name of food.

Rahul Raj

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