• Is it food, nutrient, or additive? What type? Antioxidant o Source – This food additive has been found in many foods including Kellog’s Eggo waffles and in McDonald’s chicken nuggets sold in the U.S. not Europe. This is because McDonald’s in Europe have been banned from using TBHQ, which should raise a red flag. o How it’s made – TBHQ is a derivative of hydroquinone, which is derived from petroleum. o Natural or synthetic - Synthetic
• Why is this ingredient used in food? It is used in food because it is a preservative that does not change the odor, flavor, or discolor the food. •
• What are the health benefits of this ingredient? Although TBHQ may be safe in small doses, this does not mean it is healthy for you. In fact, it is considered dangerous if consumed in high amounts in one sitting. o Is this essential in our diet? No, this is not essential to our diet. The reason it is found in our diet is because we typically eat a lot of processes foods and TBHQ is a preservative.
• What are the drawback/risks of eating this food? The drawbacks of this food are that at high levels it is possibly carcinogenic, especially for stomach tumors. It inhibits many of the same qualities as Hydroquinone which is also considered a dangerous compound.
o Are there alternatives? Yes, there are other safe alternatives such as asorbic acid (vitamin C), mixed tocoplerols (vitamin E), and sodium/calcium/potassium ascorbate. o Why aren’t they used? Other alternatives are not used because TBHQ is one of the most effective synthetic food grade antioxidants has not been proven harmful in small amounts yet.
• Any other interesting finds?
I found that the way TBHQ is compounded makes it very close to being classified as butane.
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