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Do Expiry Dates Matter?

do expiry dates matter

How seriously do you take the best before and expiry dates on the food products you buy? Every perishable item for sale in our stores includes some kind of date and some people refuse to eat anything past their expiry and best before dates. We know that these dates are a good indication of how fresh the food is, but exactly how necessary is it to abide by these dates?

After a bit of research I discovered a very interesting fact.

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Additives and Preservatives Round-Up

additives and preservatives round up

I recently wrote a series of articles on some of the various additives and preservatives commonly found in our food. I thought it would be nice to have an additives and preservatives round-up article for easy reference should you wish to check up on a particular additive.

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Healthy ice lollies, ice pops, bompies, bunny licks, or something

reusable ice lolly pouch

I recently conducted a survey on a South African Facebook group, and asked what people called those plastic packets filled with juice that you freeze. We all enjoyed eating them as children. After letting it run for a while, I tallied up the points by counting each reply as one point. If anyone reacted to that reply, I counted the engagement as a point too. Bunny licks got the majority vote.

I stopped counting after I received 74 comments and likes, and these are my results:

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Additives and Preservatives: What is Aspartame

aspartame found in diet food products

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in diet drinks, yoghurts, chocolate and other food items of a similar nature. It was discovered in 1965 and was approved for use in the food industry in 1981.

Aspartame is made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine which are both naturally occurring amino acids. As Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than standard cane sugar, the amount required to sweeten food is much less than that of sugar. However, despite this, many people are worried that Aspartame may be bad for your health.

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Additives and Preservatives: What is Sodium Benzoate

sodium benzoate in sugary drinks

Sodium Benzoate is a common food preservative. It is produced through a chemical reaction between sodium hydroxide and benzoic acid and is mostly used to preserve acidic foods such as fruit juice, carbonated drinks, pickles and salad dressings.  It is also used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.

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Additives and Preservatives: What is Tartrazine?

unhealthy hotdog tartrazine

Tartrazine is used in commercially processed food as a yellow food colouring. It can also be combined with blue food colouring to make various shades of green. Tartrazine is also used, in smaller amounts, to colour food items which you would expect to have a creamy colour. Therefore, it can be found in many of our commercially processed food items.

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Additives and Preservatives: What is MSG?

snack with msg

MSG stands for monosodium glutomate and is a salt naturally found in foods such as tomatoes and cheese. The food industry uses a chemically manufactured version as a flavour enhancer (umami) for savoury foods and it can be found in commercial sauces, soups, gravies, savoury snacks such as crisps and of course, Asian-style restaurant and fast foods. It was originally identified in the late 1800s and has been available commercially since the early 1900s. It was originally made by adding an acid to wheat gluten but is currently made using a bacterial fermentation process.

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