The Bad Habits of Ingredient Declaration

These are few ways in which manufacturer can manipulate ingredient declaration. I call them bad habits as its intention is only to benefit their side.

food ingredient listManufacturer have the bad habit of hiding specific ingredient behind their generic names. Using sweetener, emulsifier, thickener, meat  preservative and natural ingredients are common. They are fooling us! There are hundreds of preservatives available out there! How do we know if they are using the safe or not. Perhaps those that are hidden are not.

Too small to read. I am betting most of them are 10 points or way smaller. Reading 12 point font on computer screen and magazine make me feel tired. What more if it is on the oddly shaped food package.

Some ingredients are written in their technical term. Acesulfame k, HCFS-42, HCFS-90, hydrogenated starch hydrosylate and aspartic acid. Who the hell care about those. Anyone need an internet access in hand to understand it well while in grocery. Such trick will consume long hours and deemed not practical. Memorizing every item definition, benefits, functions and side effects is not practical either. I understand this to some extent. They are trying their best to be specific  to a point beyond reach by the masses.

There are too many ingredients. Too many that makes you think it is likely not the way you wanted. Example, mayonnaise basic ingredients are oil and egg. A brand having more than 15 is doubtful to eye of keen buyer.   Ingredient listing is not the thing to blame here though, it is the process which the product passed through.

Ingredients listed on tanzan. A labeling technique employed by bottled softdrinks manufacturer. Series of tiny letters are written on sides of tanzan. Anyone would easily think it is a design instead of ingredient listing. Perhaps many never noticed it. Corrugated tanzan edges make reading more difficult. There are only few crazy persons out there who were as crazy as me reading what were in the list.

Omitting ingredients. Offenders of this did are hard to identify. It maybe easy if you have a sensitive and accurate tongue. Otherwise, it requires a rigorous wet chemistry.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Cheddar Cheese Should Have How Many Ingredients?

Try scouting some cheddar cheeses on grocery shelf. Read the ingredient listing and count each. You will find out that most of them have five or more raw materials. Guess what? Majority of the ingredients are not really needed.

Cheese manufacture starts from cow. The cow produce good quality milk for cheese production. Then a rennet is added to initiate coagulation. Rennet are bacteria naturally living in cow’s stomach. Coagulated milk are gathered, salted, dried and press to form cheddar cheese. Aging process follows, usually done in cave. Then package and sold.

The manufacturing process has a lot of technical details from the view of food technologist. I just wrote a brief summary.

Analyzing the second paragraph, there are only three materials needed for cheddar cheese making. The rennet, milk and salt. Microbial rennet is a processing aid, a bacteria responsible for milk coagulation and not a part of the finished product. The ingredients are now trimmed down to two, the milk and salt. Other written ingredients are not necessary. It could be preservatives, flavorings or fillers.

Cheddar cheese could last for years depending on moisture content, packaging and environmental conditions.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.