Does beech nut baby food have preservatives
frequently asked questions - Beech-Nut
- Our Foods
- Feeding Tips
- Where to Buy
- Packaging & Storage
- About Beech-Nut®
I noticed the new label on "Classics" jars. What changed?
Our line of classics jar purees (which used to be called Beech-Nut® Classics) has gotten an upgrade! We have improved this line to remove artificial ingredients like ascorbic acid and citric acid. Now, all Beech-Nut® fruit and veggie purees have nothing artificial added. Other than that, the recipe for the jars remains the same, with the same flavor and smooth texture your baby is used to.
The new look for the Classics jars helps communicate the promise of real food with larger graphics so it’s even easier to spot your favorite fruit or veggie combination on shelf.
These product improvements come at no additional cost to our moms & dads. The new products are still WIC™ eligible wherever they were previously.
Is your baby food certified organic?
Our Beech-Nut® Organics line of baby food is certified USDA organic.
Browse our organic products here, including jar purees and cereals.
What does "naturals" mean?
At Beech-Nut®, we make foods for babies using simple, natural ingredients from places that nurture their fruits and vegetables and care about their quality. Beech-Nut Naturals® start with real fruits & veggies that are gently cooked to help preserve their nutrients, vibrant color, and flavor.
To learn more about our Naturals process, click here.
What measures do you take to ensure your foods are high quality?
Did you know we test for 255 pesticides, toxins, and heavy metals?
We have an entire department dedicated to ingredient sourcing. Research goes into finding the phenomenal food that goes into our jars. We build relationships with farms we can trust, and look for opportunities to buy locally whenever we can – like how all of our apples for our Naturals™ range come from about three hours away in upstate New York! We do what it takes to make sure we are using only the best, including turning food away when it isn’t up to our standards.
To read more about our quality standards, click here.
Unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables go bad without added preservatives. How do you have shelf-stable products that are still natural?
The key is in our cooking process, which uses both deaeration and gentle heating. In deaeration we remove air from the puree so the food isn’t exposed to oxygen, which would cause browning and decomposition. The food is then gently cooked, which deactivates enzymes and bacteria that could further break down the food and allows the product to be shelf stable. This is similar to what you’d do when canning at home.
Do Beech-Nut® foods contain GMOs?
We’re working with the Non-GMO Project to verify all our products. We believe that the Non-GMO Project’s seal is a good fit for our products because it is trustworthy, defensible and transparent and (most important) requires ongoing testing. Right now, over 100 of our products are Non-GMO Project verified, and we’re pursuing all the rest! Look for the butterfly on our packaging in stores. You can learn more and check on the status of our approvals on the Non-GMO Project’s website: livingnongmo.org
Which of your foods are gluten-free?
Any of our products that do not contain wheat or oat are gluten-free. All allergen information is clearly listed on each product’s label. See a full list of our products here.
Which of your foods are Kosher?
Currently, some of our products are certified Kosher. See a full list here.
Which of your foods are Halal?
We do not have any products that are Halal at this time
Which of your foods contain allergens?
We list eight food allergens (wheat, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts & peanuts) on our labels in accordance with FDA requirements. This information is printed clearly on the labels of those products. Click on each product page to view their ingredients.
Please visit beechnut.com/allergens to see which of our products do contain wheat, milk or egg.
We will start listing products that may contain trace levels of sesame in January 2023.
To learn more about when and how to introduce allergens to your baby, click here.
Do any of your foods contain the soy allergen?
None of our baby foods contain the soy allergen. Search our foods here.
What’s in the broth in Beech-Nut® Stage 1 meat jars? Is it safe to feed to my pet?
The broth in our Stage 1 meat jars (Beef & Beef Broth jar, Chicken & Chicken Broth jar, and Turkey & Turkey Broth jar) is just meat and water. There is no onion, garlic, or other spices in these jars.
What is glyphosate and how do you test for it in your foods?
Glyphosate is a commonly used pesticide, and traces of this chemical can remain on foods sourced from U.S. farms. We want to reassure parents that all Beech-Nut® foods are healthy, nutritious and safe. Our glyphosate standard is 10 times more rigorous than the EPA’s regulatory standard, and for certified organic products, our standard is set at zero. For example, the oat flour in our infant cereal is tested to help ensure that it meets our high standards. Just like you would, we send it back if it doesn’t meet our standards.
Why does there appear to be a ring of food on the bottom of my jar?
Instead of removing all the good fibers in fruits and veggies, we keep them in. This gives you the nutritional value you’d expect of your homemade foods. Separation or clumping is natural and you may see some of these fibers settle to the bottom of the jar or clump together. Simply stir or shake the jar to mix these fibers in before feeding.
Why are there black specs in the cereal I purchased?
Beech-Nut® cereal is iron fortified to help support your baby’s brain development as a vital nutrient. Iron appears as black specks in the cereal and is completely safe for your baby to consume.
Do Beech-Nut® baby foods contain lead?
Even the highest quality, organic and non-GMO fruits and vegetables contain trace amounts of lead because this contaminant commonly occurs naturally in soil. The FDA states that: “Because lead may be present in environments where food crops are grown and animals used for food are raised, various foods may contain unavoidable but small amounts of lead that do not pose a significant risk to human health.” We have strict standards and test for up to 255 contaminants for every batch of food we make. Read about our Food Quality and Safety standards here.
What should I do if I have a quality concern or question?
First, look at our FAQS to see if the answer is below. If you have an issue with one of our products, please contact our Consumer Engagement Team via our contact us form. You can also call our Consumer Help Line: 800-233-2468 (open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm EST) or send us a message via Facebook or Twitter.
When should I start my baby on solid foods?
Every baby is different! Talk to your pediatrician to understand when your baby is ready to try solid foods in conjunction with formula or breast milk. A good rule of thumb is to start trying solids around 4-6 months. Your doctor can help you decide when to start and what to try first with a feeding plan. For more information, check out tips from our pediatric nutrition specialist Nicole Silber here on our blog. These are signs your doctor looks for to determine that your baby is ready:
- When your baby can sit with your support.
- When your baby can hold her head up and turn her head away when she’s full.
- When your baby can take food from a spoon and has learned to swallow.
How should I serve Beech-Nut® food?
We recommend serving at room temperature or slightly warmed. If using a microwave, be sure to stir thoroughly, and always test the temperature before serving it to your baby, as uneven heating may occur (note: Do not microwave Beech-Nut® jars that contain meat). A safe alternative to microwaving is placing your jar in a bowl of warm water, then stirring and testing the temperature. Also, it’s best that you don’t feed directly from the jar, to prevent bacteria growth.
What do the different Stages mean?
These ages are only suggested ranges since every baby develops differently. Do not begin to introduce Stage 3® foods until you are sure your baby has the teeth needed to enjoy these foods. To filter all of our products by the age of your baby, try our search tool here!
- Stage 1® from about 4 months – a delicious introduction to single-ingredient solid food.
- Stage 2® from about 6 months – introduces more single-ingredient foods and perfect pairings of two or more favorites.
- Stage 3® from about 8 months – provides new tastes, new textures and new colors that a few new teeth can enjoy.
- Stage 4® from about 12 months – introduces more complex ingredients for supporting healthy growth and development.
What should I know before moving on to Stage 2® foods?
Once you’ve tried Stage 1® single-ingredient foods and learned which ones agree with your baby, you can serve mixtures of those foods. Unless your doctor says otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to start mixed-ingredient foods at about six months. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- If your baby was sensitive to any single food, don’t feed a combination food that contains it.
- It’s okay to keep single-ingredient foods in your baby’s diet.
- Breast milk or formula is the critical foundation of your baby’s diet for the first 12 months, so keep feeding at every meal.
The product looks different than the last time I bought it – why?
Each year’s crop can be slightly different, as you’d expect in your own home garden from season to season. This can result in a product that is slightly thicker or thinner, or a product that may also taste slightly different from each other because of crop variety.
What does an allergic reaction look like?
Always check with your doctor if your baby shows any sign of an allergic reaction. Food allergy reactions vary greatly. Symptoms can include difficulty in breathing, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, coughing, runny nose and watery eyes. A good rule to follow is to introduce just one new food every 3 to 5 days to help identify any possible allergies. With this in mind, our Beech-Nut® Stage 1® foods are “single-ingredient” foods, and all our cereals are soy-free, to provide you a convenient and healthful way to check for food allergies in your little one.
How can I feed my baby safely to help prevent foodborne illness?
Take extra care when handling and preparing any baby food, since infants and young children can be more vulnerable to foodborne illnesses (caused by bacteria or viruses, for example salmonella). The most important rule: always wash your hands before feeding time, since your hands can pick up harmful bacteria from pets, raw food, soil, or diapers. Here are some other tips for safe feeding.
- Inspect the baby food’s packaging before you serve it, ensuring that the safety button on the lid of the jar is down and that pouches aren’t swelling or leaking.
- Always use a clean spoon for serving, and don’t put the spoon in your mouth or anyone else’s mouth.
- Never leave opened baby food out at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Store opened baby food in the refrigerator, but only for a maximum of three days. “When in doubt, throw it out!”
- See the FDA’s safe feeding and handling tips here. This page includes information about how to microwave baby food, how to store unused baby food, and when to call the doctor if you think your baby has a foodborne illness.
Where to Buy
Can I purchase foods directly from Beech-Nut®?
Unfortunately, we do not have a direct to consumer online ordering program. Typically, we only sell to retail partners who order truckloads of food. We would love to be able to sell directly however, as a small company, we do not currently have the capability to ship directly to parents’ homes. If you are looking for alternative stores where you can find our products, check out our store locator.
Which stores near me carry Beech-Nut®?
All stores and online retailers that carry Beech-Nut® foods can be found via our store locator.
Do you sell Beech-Nut® on Amazon or online?
Yes, try our store locator to see which items you can buy online at Walmart.com, Target.com, Kroger.com, and, now, Amazon!
Are Beech-Nut foods WIC eligible?
We believe in real food for all. That’s why we’re proud to offer our delicious baby foods, made simply with just real ingredients to families in the WIC™ program. Find eligible products in your area as well as other information about the program here.
Do you have any coupon offers?
Yes, we periodically post coupons on our website and social media accounts like Facebook. Or, you can sometimes find cash-back offers on the mobile app, Ibotta. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive valuable offers for your baby’s age.
Do you have a sampling program?
No, we do not currently have a free samples program. You can sign up for our newsletter here to find out about upcoming promotions.
Packaging & Storage
How do I store your foods?
All products are designed to be stored at room temperature before opening. Freezing before use is not recommended. After opening, please refer to the label on each individual product for proper handling and storage information.
Why did you choose glass jars instead of plastic?
Beech-Nut® was the first U.S. baby food to use recyclable glass jars, which protect the taste, smell or texture of our foods.
Our glass jars make it easy to see what’s inside: the beautiful colors and natural textures of nothing but real fruits and vegetables. A few more reasons to love our jars:
- They are infinitely recyclable.
- They’re BPA-free (like all of our packaging!)
- There are a million fun ways to reuse them (check out our DIYs)
Are your pouches recyclable?
Not currently, but we are listening to your feedback and are actively working on a recyclable pouch option.
Where can I find the "best by" date? (Expiration date)
- For cereals—the best by date can be found on the bottom of the canister.
- For jars—the best by date can be found on the top or side of the lid.
- For pouches—the best by date can be found on the bottom of the pouch near the barcode.
- For Melties—the best by date can be found on the bottom of the pouch near the barcode.
- Toddler Snack Bars—the best by date can be found on the bottom of the carton and on each individual bar.
Does your packaging contain BPAs?
No BPAs are used in the formulation of any of our packaging materials (pouches, jars, lids, material inside our lids, canisters, etc. )
How do I know if my jar was stored improperly?
The texture and color of our purees will change if the jars are stored improperly. This is because ingredients like bananas are a temperature-sensitive. For example, when bananas are exposed to extreme temperatures, they can become clumpy. They can also turn pink or develop a thick film that may look like the skin you would find on pudding. If your jar is showing any of these characteristics, then the jar was most likely not stored according to our guidelines. While there are no health or food safety risks associated with the affected jars, they are not up to the quality of the food we strive to produce. Please call our Consumer Help Line: 1–800-233–2468 and we will happily replace the damaged jars.
What should I do if the jar lid didn’t pop?
Every jar of Beech-Nut food should pop when you open it. If your jar didn’t pop, don’t use the food. We will happily replace your damaged jar if you call our Consumer Help Line: 1-800-233-2468 and let us know.
Where are your foods produced?
Most of our foods are produced at our headquarters in Amsterdam, New York. We’ve been a proud resident of upstate New York since 1891. Some foods, like our snacks and some pouches, are produced elsewhere.
How can I sign up for news and promotions?
Sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to fill out your location and age of baby so we send you personalized news and offers.
How can I see what jobs are available at Beech-Nut Nutrition?
Look at our Careers page and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to see company news.
Who should I contact if I have an issue with one of your products?
We take quality complaints very seriously. If you have an issue with one of our products, please call our Consumer Help Line: 800-233-2468 (open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm EST) or send us a message.
need more help?
give us a call 800-233-2468
Beech-Nut becomes a disruptive force in baby food
Millennial moms shopping the baby food aisle have recently been met with a new vision: Shelves stacked with premium, honeypot-shaped, clear glass jars displaying the vibrant, rich colors of 100% natural fruit and vegetable purees. Bright orange carrot, deep crimson pomegranate, luscious golden apple, and rich purple blackberry are just a few. It is the vision that drove Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp.’s year-and-a-half-long journey to transform its products and packaging to better meet the needs of today’s moms and bring them back to a declining category.
According to Andy Dahlen, Beech-Nut’s Vice President of Marketing, in recent years, moms have been switching from commercially prepared baby foods to homemade in order to ensure the freshness and nutrition of their babies’ food. A drop in the birth rate has also affected the category.
“Over the last five to seven years, there has been a decline in the birth rate, so that is a factor facing the category,” Dahlen says. “But even if you account for the decline in birth rate, there are ounces leaving the category due to moms who are choosing to not enter the category or are getting the food and nutritional needs of their babies met elsewhere.
“If you look at the per-baby amount of ounces consumed from the aisle, in 2005, a baby would consume on average 1,700 ounces. In 2012, that number was just less than 1,200 ounces. So 500 ounces are gone. We know from the birth rate and the fact that there have been no changes in nutritional recommendations that babies are still getting those ounces; they are just not getting them from the category.”
Driven by the desire to make its brand relevant and compelling to modern moms, in late 2012 Beech-Nut—led by Dahlen, along with brand agency Bluedog Design™—set out to reformulate its product line and disrupt the baby food category forever with “Real Food for Babies” in packaging as premium and “pure” as the product itself.
Gentle cooking yields natural product
Beech-Nut, a subsidiary of Hero AG of Lenzburg, Switzerland, was founded in 1890 and has been producing baby food since 1931. Located in Amsterdam, NY, at “One Nutritious Place,” the company is the number-two leading baby-food brand in the U.S., producing jarred fruit and vegetable purees, cereals, pouched purees and yogurts, and a limited line of toddler meals and snacks.
According to Dahlen, the company’s history is one of innovation in packaging and nutrition. “It was a brand built around competency in packaging,” he says. “In 1931, Beech-Nut was the first to put baby food in a vacuum-packed container. That was an innovation at the time. Throughout the history of the brand, the company has been a leader in terms of being the first to remove any additional salts and sugars, and the first to launch a stage eating system for baby food, where the textures and the products were designed to meet babies’ needs as they grew.”
Therefore, it was only natural in 2012 for Beech-Nut to embark upon a transformational change in its brand focused on product and packaging innovation. As Dahlen explains, the project was a co-creative process between Beech-Nut, Bluedog, and approximately 3,000 moms. To understand what consumers were looking for in a baby-food product, Beech-Nut and Bluedog conducted both quantitative and qualitative research through ethnographic studies, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups.
“The studies were really designed to get at how moms were feeling about feeding their babies, about the category, and about caring for their children, all going into a deeper emotional level to help guide us in the right way to deliver a product that would be relevant to mom and address her needs,” says Dahlen.
According to Bluedog CEO Michelle Hayward, the answer was “simple”: “We found out when it comes to food for their babies, moms believe simple is best, and simple means real—that means more flavor, more healthful, and more enjoyable.”
To deliver simple, 100% natural products, Beech-Nut worked with a proprietary supplier to develop gentle cooking™ technology, a method that ensures the freshness of the fruits and vegetables, without the addition of excess water or preservatives. During cooking, Beech-Nut uses indirect heat similar to a double-boiler to preserve the color, texture, and flavor of the products.
The chef-developed recipes of the new Beech-Nut brand include 40 products, some single-ingredient, such as Honeycrisp Apples, Sweet Potatoes, and Bartlett Pears, and others that use several ingredients, such as Apple & Blackberry and Sweet Corn & Green Beans. The products are divided into three stages, with Stage 3 (for babies approximately eight months and older) using grains and other ingredients not commonly found in traditional baby foods—among them, avocado, quinoa, amaranth, chia, and others.
“At every single home we were in [during ethnographic studies], the moms were making avocado,” says Dahlen. “It’s a healthy fat, and there are not a lot of avocado choices in the baby-food aisle. So we have avocados in several of our SKUs.”
Differentiating the products from organic baby-food offerings and others that claim to offer a more healthful option, Beech-Nut’s line “is just the fruit or vegetable and nothing else,” Dahlen says. “There is half a honeycrisp apple in the Honeycrisp Apple jar. That’s what’s in there, nothing else.” The product has an 18-month shelf life—six months less than competitive jarred baby-food products—due to the lack of preservatives.
Simplicity is key to design
To translate the simplicity, freshness, and quality of the new product through packaging, Dahlen gave Bluedog full rein over the design, without any constraints. “We could not incrementally change our design,” he says. “We needed something transformational.
“Bluedog is a very progressive agency that digs deep into the meaningful relationship a consumer has with a brand, especially our main consumer, young millennial moms. They also have intimate knowledge of simplicity and a strong design competency to deliver the forward-thinking solutions I needed for Beech-Nut.”
After conducting research with millennial moms, Bluedog’s Hayward says the brand agency began to try to translate visually the idea of simplicity. “We found there were key themes of purity, connection, and singularity,” she says. “If you think about what those words mean, you really start to think about the fact that mom has a job to protect her child’s innocence. That’s why she is in the kitchen making the food, that’s why she is deliberate when it comes to anything that goes on that child’s skin or in that child’s mouth. She wants as little as possible to get between the raw ingredients and the final pureed food.
“We took that quite literally. It’s one of the reasons that glass was an imperative for this project and why we developed the brand identity the way we did. What we wanted mom to see when she was turning her cart and going down the aisle were the vibrant colors and textures of the products.”
The 4.25-oz custom glass jar, supplied by Owens-Illinois, provides a clear view of the product and is designed with a honeypot shape that conveys a homemade, premium appearance. The design allows the jar to nestle in the hand and provides space for a spoon to wrap 360 deg around the inside, “to scrape out every last ounce of that goodness,” says Hayward. “When you think about canning glass, and when you think about premium, there are reasons that glass is used,” she adds. “It really does connote purity and freshness.”
Notes O-I, because glass does not absorb food colors or smells, the food inside keeps its natural taste, smell, and appearance. The glass jar for Beech-Nut is also designed to stack on shelves at retail and in the home, and is 100% recyclable.
Maximizing the visual clarity of the glass jar and reinforcing the idea of the brand’s transparency, Bluedog selected a clear, pressure-sensitive label to decorate the package. A new Beech-Nut logo takes center stage on the label, using a loose script “that represents the sweet connectivity between mom and baby,” Hayward says. Growing out of the “h” in the Beech-Nut brandmark is a tree graphic that ties the brand back to nature and also alludes to the family-centric nature of the company.
Under the logo is positioned the product variety name in lower-case letters. On the right-hand side of the logo is ingredient photography, showing that “it’s really just the good stuff in there,” says Hayward. Each variety is also labeled in the upper left-hand corner with a 1, 2, or 3, designating stage.
Jars are topped with green, twist-on metal closures, decorated on top with the Beech-Nut logo and on the rim with the repeating copy, “100% natural.”
After installation of a $10 million state-of-the-art production line at the Amsterdam facility (as reported by an article on timesunion. com), Beech-Nut began production of the new brand, which was launched nationwide in early April. The product carries an average retail price of $1.09—a cost on par or close to that of jarred organic baby foods, and about a third less than the average price for pouched foods in the category, according to Dahlen.
“There are a fair amount of retail stores where we are getting premium placement opportunities, either on the shelf or in end caps or displays,” says Dahlen. “The stopping power of the product at shelf is very strong because of the transparent jar and the great colors we have. So much of the category people view as being grey and beige and just not that colorful. That’s something we sought to disrupt, and we have.”
Adds Hayward, “We are taught in the world of package design that we need to scream our equities as loudly as we can—from 30 feet, from 15 feet, from 10 feet. We broke the rules here. What we really wanted to do is reinforce the food. You see the food; it’s glorious, it’s beautiful, it’s vibrant, it’s textured. It’s real food, and we made room for that food to speak to that authenticity and relevancy on its own. I think we took Andy’s mandate of ‘Be disruptive where you can be disruptive’ seriously.”
To see a spin + zoom 360° photo, click here.
Children's vegetable puree: edible or inedible?
/ All materials
GOST not Decree
The tasting of vegetable puree was conducted by specialists who have devoted many years to the development of baby food. Their opinion can be trusted. But we want to warn you: it is impossible to guarantee that the child will like the same puree as the experts (rather, you should rely on your own taste). Much more important is compliance with safety requirements. And most of the samples we tested meet the standards. Most, but not all.
Let's deal with quality
Andrey Mosov, head of the expert department of NP Roskontrol, doctor:
“Characteristics such as sweetness, bitterness or “unexpressed taste” are subjective. Parents most often pay attention to the water content of the product. The presence of water in the composition of vegetable puree is not bad for the first feeding. You just need to understand that water is a cheaper raw material than a pumpkin.”
Irina Konokhova, leading expert of NP Roskontrol, doctor:
“Indeed, in most of the tested vegetable purees, the mass fraction of chlorides (i.e. salt) is 0.2%, and in the Babushkino Lukoshko, Heinz and Semper purees it is 0.3%. Perhaps this is due to the higher natural content of sodium chloride in the feedstock, although it cannot be ruled out that salt was added. However, this intake of salt with complementary foods is acceptable, given the physiological need for sodium in children. The permissible mass fraction of chlorides in children's vegetable puree is 0.6%, and this figure is not exceeded in the tested samples.
How about sterility?
Let's start with the main thing: all samples meet the requirements of industrial sterility. Pesticides were not found in any of the samples, and all samples meet the standards in terms of nitrate content.
In addition, the puree was checked for 5-hydroxymethyl furfural content . It was not found in any of the samples.
All preservatives and sweeteners are prohibited in baby food. We checked the puree for the presence of sorbate, benzoate, sulfur dioxide (these are preservatives) and determined the mass concentration of sweeteners. Parents can be calm: no preservatives or sweeteners were found in the samples.
One in the jar, another on the label
Andrey Mosov, head of the expert department of NP Roskontrol, doctor:
in pumpkin puree should be 3. 6% (in boiled pumpkin - 4.6%).
Summing up and drawing conclusions
Roskontrol experts noted that the manufacturer of puree Semper misleads the consumer about the presence of sugar in the composition. A mark "Bebivita" does not correspond to the actual product name - it is indicated in small print on the back of the label ("Complementary food product - mashed pumpkin and potatoes").
Puree “Spelyonok” has the inscription “fortified with vitamin C” illegally placed: the actual mass fraction of ascorbic acid in this sample is four times less than indicated in the label. Plus, on all samples, except for Bebivita puree, information about the nutritional value in terms of carbohydrate content is distorted.
August 27, 2014
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Preservatives in baby foods
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It is no secret that the presence of preservatives is highly undesirable in the diet of a child. But it is also known that the food industry cannot completely abandon their use. Therefore, parents should know what permitted additives appear in baby food products, and whether they should be wary of.
Why is the use of preservatives universal?
Most of us know that preservatives are food additives that are actively used to extend the shelf life of products. They can also be called E-supplements. Of course, not all preservatives are the harmful brainchild of the chemical industry. For example, table salt and acetic acid are natural preservatives that are used daily in home cooking.
In developed countries, certain requirements apply to preservatives. First of all, they must be harmless to humans. Also, they should not enter into a chemical reaction with the product packaging materials, reduce the nutritional value and give the food an extraneous taste or smell. One can argue with the first and last points. “Harmful to human health” is a relative concept, and only the most aggressive E-additives were included in the list of prohibited preservatives. But this does not mean that the permitted preservatives do not bear any harm. In addition, some of them clearly change the taste and smell of products, contrary to the rules.
How exactly do preservatives extend the shelf life of foods? Usually they have a bactericidal effect, that is, they stop the growth or destroy microorganisms that can spoil food. E-additives can be injected directly into the product or used on its surface. So, with the help of the E-200, dry vegetables and fruits are processed, which then end up on store shelves.
Vegetables and fruits are often treated with E-200 to keep them attractive.
Why are preservatives dangerous?
E-additives block the work of enzymes in products that can quickly deteriorate. This favorably affects the ability to store food in the refrigerator for a long time, but negatively affects the value composition of our menu.Preservatives destroy not only microorganisms, but also amino acids, vitamins and minerals in food.
The fact is that along with microorganisms in food, under the influence of a preservative, amino acids, vitamins and trace elements also “die off”. As a result, a tasty, good-smelling and fresh-looking product gets to the child’s table, but its vitamin and mineral part tends to zero.
Of course, the constant use of foods with a high content of E-supplements is fraught with hypovitaminosis. The risk is especially great if the child does not favor fresh vegetables and fruits, preferring "chemical" yogurts and sausages to them.
Also, nutritionists have recently concluded that a number of preservatives can cause hyperactivity in children. These are, first of all, phosphates, which are found in sausages, carbonated lemonades and sweets. Their effect can be compared with a large dose of sugar or caffeine.
E-additives in baby products
As already mentioned, there is a list of prohibited and permitted preservatives for food manufacturers. Of course, products labeled "suitable for baby food" contain a minimum amount of preservatives, but they also contain E-supplements. In addition, on the table of a child of even an early age there are dishes prepared from all kinds of products, and not just special "children's".
The basic rule of reasonable parents is to avoid store-bought "long-playing" foods. Milk, kefir and yogurt, which can be stored for more than 10 days, should be alarming. The same can be said about meat, non-stale bread, and fruits that stay fresh for weeks on display.
Read labels carefully so you can make the right filter while still in the store. Below we list some E-supplements that are allowed, but still undesirable for feeding a child, which you can easily find in many products:
- E621 (monosodium glutamate) is a flavor enhancer that is included in almost all sauces and semi-finished products.
- E251 - E252 (sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate) - additives that are always found in sausages, smoked fish and some hard cheeses.