Preservatives are used to maintain desired product sensory attributes and extend product shelf life by preventing the process of oxidation and bacterial growth.

Preservatives can help extend a food’s shelf life, slow oxidation, prevent the growth of bacteria, and add texture, flavor, and smell. There are both natural and man-made preservatives. Although man-made preservatives have been criticized for affecting nutrient absorption and gut health, they help prevent food from growing bacteria.

Furthermore, there are other factors in the discussion of gut health, such as food preparation, which foods are consumed simultaneously, and environmental stressors. More research needs to be conducted on a variety of foods and preservatives to fully understand the impact they can have on absorption. Understanding how the body converts food into fat can offer some insight into whether preservatives trigger the body’s fat-storing mode.

The FDA and the Michigan State University Center for Research on Food Safety suggest that man-made preservatives help protect the body from microbes that can cause foodborne illnesses. Perhaps, it is safer to consume food with preservatives than eating food infected with bacteria and fungi.

For more information, visit EatDat.

References

Aggett, PJ. (2010). Population reference intakes and micronutrient bioavailability: a European perspective. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91(suppl):1433S-1437S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.28674C

Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. (2000). “How Fat Cells Work” Retrieved April 28 2020 from¬† <https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/fat-cell.htm>

Martin, Kevin J., Voinescu, Alexandra.. 2013. Calcium, Phosphate, PTH, Vitamin D and FGF-23 in Chronic Kidney Disease. Nutritional Management of Renal Disease. Retrieved April 24 2020 from <https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/food-preservative>.

Miller, John. (2016). Impact Of Preservatives On The Body. Retrieved April 28 2020 from <https://medium.com/invironment/impact-of-preservatives-on-the-body-eede56dfd44f>. 

Kianne is a Food & Bakery Scientist with 7+ years of experience in the industry supporting brands such as DiGiorno pizza, Toll House cookie dough, and Buitoni pasta. Kianne holds a B.S. in Bakery Science and Management from Kansas State University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Kansas.