According to expert estimates, human health by more than 50% depends on the way of life, where nutrition is one of the main components. Proper nutrition is a normal development and the body's ability to resist harmful environmental conditions. The food needs of people are constantly increasing, and the possibilities of nature for their satisfaction are limited.
That is why as early as the 19th century, chemists began to create ersatz products and various food additives. And what impact do they have on our health? The topic of our conversation - E471: the effect on the human body.
E471 - what is it?
The purpose of nutritional supplements is to give certain qualities to food products, such as:
- odor (flavors);
- taste, color (dyes);
- increase the shelf life (preservatives), etc.
In the countries of the world about half a thousand food additives are used. One of them is the emulsifier and stabilizer E471.
The main functions of the E471
This food additive is characterized by complex technological functions and acts as:
- consistency regulator substances - emulsifier;
- substance stabilizer;
- baking improver;
- foam stabilizer or antifoam.
E471 emulsifier is a component of the emulsion (dispersion system formed by immiscible liquids), contributing to its formation. For example, emulsions consisting of water and oil:
- mayonnaise (oil in water);
- margarine (water in oil).
E471 stabilizer - a substance that affects the consistency of products. This is a group of substances that perform the following functions:
- increasing viscosity - improving the appearance of products due to compaction of tissues;
- promoting gel formation (jelly);
- slow down the evaporation of liquids;
- fixing foam;
- turbid liquid.
E471 baking improver - a means for processing flour, aimed at improving the properties of the dough, speeding up the process of cooking products, preventing spoilage, extending the shelf life of products.
E471 foam stabilizer - a substance that prevents the settling of the foam. E471 antifoam agent - a means of struggling with the formation of foam at various stages of production, such as bottling, filtration, dosing, pumping.
How is E471 made?
E471 is obtained during a chemical reaction called randomization (transesterification). It is based on the exchange of structural elements of fats in the presence of glycerol.
E471 is available in the form of balls, tablets, wax, flakes, viscous liquids, plastic products, mixtures and distillates with a high content of monoglycerides.
Where is E471 used?
The range of use of E471 additive is quite wide:
- adding to the dough or baking - contributes to resistance to temperature effects, reducing the formation of porosity, increasing the volume, prolonging the freshness of the finished product;
- use in the production of margarines, mayonnaise, fats and creams - maintains the stability of the mixture with variations in storage conditions for the worse, facilitates subsequent processing;
- adding to confectionery products - helps to reduce stickiness, slows the detachment of fats;
- use in the manufacture of dairy production - prevents the separation of the fat layer;
- monoglycerides added to desserts increase whipping or act as antifoam.
In addition to the above areas, E471 is widely used in the manufacture of cosmetics, as well as animal feed.
E471: effect on the human body
Distilled monoglycerides of acids in their natural state are formed in the process of digestion as an intermediate product during lipid metabolism. The processes of their digestion and absorption do not differ from those of fats.
Restrictions on the permissible daily consumption rate and the maximum concentration of E471 are not established. This additive is considered non-hazardous in terms of toxicity.
According to accepted sanitary standards, E471 does not have a harmful effect on human health when used for cooking food.
But this is the opinion of manufacturers. Harmful or not, E471, everyone should still determine for himself. To do this, just read the label on the products with information on the composition of ingredients. It should be borne in mind that the use of mono-and diglycerides of fatty acids leads to a significant increase in the caloric content of food.
The link between what we eat and the diseases that we suffer, including the most dangerous for human life, is the most direct. Therefore, modern man must responsibly choose food. And in order to evaluate all the risks, you need to have at least a minimal set of knowledge about what and with what additives these products are made of.