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Spotlight On Spices! Issue May 2014 - Food Additives
May 03, 2014
April showers have brought May flowers and a reprieve from the harshness of winter. However, here in the northeast we have just come through a massive weather front that drenched us with flooding rains. We are so looking forward to true mid spring days!
Recently Hector V. from Medellin, Colombia, a visitor to my website, left a comment about a food preservative, Ethoxyquin. He was concise and informative about the additive which made me think about all the information on preservatives and additives I have provided on the site. It’s great stuff! And, it’s information we all should be aware of when we shop and select products for our meals. Thanks Hector!
This month I would like to introduce you to some of the other sections on WikiSpices.com that aren’t about spices, per se, but are about other ingredients that may be added to spices and spice blends you are purchasing. It’s
the food additives and ingredients that are this month’s . . .
THE SPICE OF LIFE - Food Additives - Ingredients
For decades, food - additives - ingredients have been added to things that we eat. Although they help keep our foods fresh longer, and help enhance their flavor, appearance, texture and nutritional value, we should be aware of what is in the things we eat. The following information will help keep us informed.
Food additives - ingredients are strictly studied, regulated and monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Source FDA.gov
Three Reasons for Food - Additives - Ingredients:1. Food Additives Keep or Improve the Safety and Freshness of Foods:
Mold, air, bacteria, fungi or yeast can spoil food. Preservatives slow food spoilage. Also, preservatives help control contamination that can cause food borne illness, such as botulism. Antioxidants are preservatives that stop fats, oils, and foods containing them from becoming rancid.
2. Food Additives Keep or Improve Nutritional Value of Foods:
Vitamins, minerals and fiber are nutrients added to foods adjust for those lost in processing, or to improve dietary needs and nutritional value. Foods containing added nutrients must be appropriately labeled.
3. Food and Color Additives Improve Food Taste, Texture and Appearance:
Spices, herbs, natural and artificial flavors, and sweeteners are added to enhance the taste of food, especially foods with lower fat contents. Food colors keep or make food look better. Emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickeners give foods a nice feel – “texture”. Some baked goods need leavening agents to help them rise during baking. Other additives help control the acidity and alkalinity of foods (such as Dutch Processed Cocoa which has been treated with alkaline to reduce the acidity found in its natural state).
Food manufacturers are required to list all ingredients in the food on the product label.
On the label, the ingredients are listed in order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first, followed in descending order by those in smaller amounts.
The label must list the names of any FDA-certified color additives (e.g., FD&C Blue No. 1 or the abbreviated name, Blue 1).
Note that some ingredients can be listed collectively as "flavors," "spices," "artificial flavoring," or in the case of color additives exempt from certification, "artificial colors", without naming each one.
Declaration of an allergenic ingredient in a collective or single color, flavor, or spice could be accomplished by singularly naming the allergenic ingredient in the ingredient list.
List of the Most Common Types of Food Additives - IngredientsLink to each type to see what it does, why it is used, and examples of names that can be found on product labels. Note that some food additives are used for more than one purpose. Food Additives Chart
May is the Month for:
National Herb Week, established in 1991 by the International Herb Association (IHA), is celebrated every year during the week prior to Mother’s Day. This first full week of the month puts a spotlight on the IHA, and its work to develop and coordinate a national focus on herbs, herbal uses, and herb businesses. Every year one herb is highlighted and this year it’s the Artemisia family which includes French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus ‘Sativa’).
National Barbecue Month
National Egg Month
National Hamburger Month
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National Strawberry Month
And, some of our favorite food days in the month include:
May - 1st Week - National Raisin Week
May 4th -10th Week before Mother’s Day - National Herb Week
May 4 - National Hoagie Day
May 13 - National Apple Pie Day
May 14 - National Buttermilk Biscuit Day
May 19 - National Devil's Food Cake Day
May 20 - National Quiche Lorraine Day
May 22 - National Vanilla Pudding Day
May 25 - National Brown-Bag-It Day
May 26 - National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
May 26 - Memorial Day - National Hamburger Day
SPICY TIDBITSCheck here for the latest news on any spice recalls, market withdrawals, and safety alerts:
MERCHANTS & RETAILERS:Websites for Spice Retailers:
Atlantic Spice Company - atlanticspice.com
Durkee® - durkee.com
Maison Terre - maisonterre.net
McCormick® - mccormick.com
Milford Spice Company - milfordspice.com
Penzeys Spices - penzeys.com
Savory Spice Shop - savoryspiceshop.com
Spice Islands® - spiceislands.com
The Spice House - thespicehouse.com
Spice Accessories Websites:
Bottles, Containers & Jars:
Bottle Store - www.bottlestore.com
eBottles.com - www.ebottles.com
SKS Bottle & Packaging, Inc. - www.sks-bottle.com
Online Labels - www.onlinelabels.com
Tubular Spices - www.tubularspices.com/Spice_Racks.asp
Spice Rack Source - www.spiceracksource.com/all-spice-racks/
YOUR TURNTell us what you would love to see in our monthly eZine. We want to keep this publication fresh and relevant. We want to put a spotlight on the herbs and spices that are of the most interest to you.
Use our Contact Form to give us constructive feedback or ask questions. Thank you!
Eat Well. Live Well. Cook everyday with spices and herbs!
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