Nutritional Ingredients

Nutritional Ingredients Glossary

  • Aspartame

    Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener used to sweeten a wide variety of low and reduced calorie foods and beverages, including low calories tabletop sweeteners.

    Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as the methyl ester. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

    Aspartic Acid and phenylalanine are also found naturally in protein containing foods, including meat grains and dairy products. Methyl esters are also found naturally in many foods such as fruits and vegetables and their juices. Upon digestion, aspartame breaks down into three components (aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol), which are then absorbed into the blood and used in normal body processes.

    Neither aspartame nor its components accumulates in the body. These components are used in the body in the same ways as when they are derived from common foods.

    Source: www.aspartame.org/aspartame_facts.html

  • Azodicarbonamide

    Azodicarbonamide (ADA) is a zinc finger inhabitor. It is a chemical product used in food industry (to make buns spongy). There are other uses for this chemical in the medical field.

    ADA zinc inhabitators are a class of anti-HIV drugs currently under development and entering clinical trials. The drugs block a part of HIV known as zinc fingers, which help assemble new viruses as they leave an infected cell. Blocking zinc fingers means that HIV makes copies of itself that do not work and cannot infect new cells. The National Institute of Health is studying the zinc finger inhabitator, C1-1012.

    Sources: www.aidsmap.com and www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

  • Beeswax

    Beeswax is a natural substance obtained from bees' honeycombs. Beeswax is sold for candle making and wax foundations. The cosmetic and related industires are the single largest consumer of beeswax which uses it in many products. As a thickener and emulsifier commonly found in salves and lotions, facial creams, ointments, and lipstick, beeswax reduces inflammation, softens skin, and is also an antioxidant and therfore has some free radical-scavenging ability (ie – fights harmful pollutants).

    The candle industry is the largest industry using beeswax as a raw material. There is a great demand for beeswax candles to be used in church services. Beeswax candles burn much longer. They are aromatic with a wonderfully warm honey fragrance.

    Beeswax is also used in waterproofing materials, for floor and furniture polishes, for grinding/polishing lenses, children's crayons, candy and chewing gum, ski and ironing wax, and wax for bow strings used in archery.

  • Benzoic Acid

    Benzoic Acid is a crystalline solid organic acid. It is used largely for making it's Salts and esters, most notably sodium benzoate, which is widely used as a preservative in foods and beverages and as a mild antiseptic in mouthwashes and toothpastes.

    Source: www.encylopedia.com

  • BHA and BHT

    BHA and BHT are antioxidants. BHA is a white or yellowish waxy solid. BHT is a white powder. These phenolic compounds are often added to foods to preserve fats. BHA is generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid. It is also used as a yeast de-foaming agent.

    BHA is found in butter, meats, cereals, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, dehydrated potatoes, and beer. It is also found in animal feed, food packaging, cosmetics, rubber products and petroleum products.

    BHT also prevents oxidative rancidity of fats. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. Many packaging materials incorporate BHT. It is also added directly to shortening, cereals and other foods containing fats and oils.

    Source: http://chemistry.about.com/library/weekly/aa082101a.htm

  • Biotin

    Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family. It assists in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein. It serves as a critical component of several enzymes and is involved in energy metabolism. The major benefit of biotin however, is the ability to strengthening hair and nails.

    Source: www.healthpricer.com

  • Calcium

    Calcium , a mineral, is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone strength. Calcium is also used in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and maintenance of cell membranes.

    Some foods, such as orange juice, bread, and ready-to-eat cereals, are not normally good sources of calcium but may have had calcium added. Most instant-prepared cereals are fortified with calcium.

    Source: www.ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5557.html

  • Calories

    Calories are units that measure energy. Calories come from four sources: carbohydrates, fat, protein, and alcohol. Fat is a high calorie food. There are 9 calories in each gram of fat. Fat contains more than twice the number of calories in protein or carbohydrates. Fat-free foods are not necessarily low in calories. Many fat-free sweet products are high in sugar, and therefore high in calories.

    • 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
    • 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
    • 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories
    • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

    Sources: www.annecollins.com and wwww.dietsite.com

  • Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates are basically sugar and starch. Apples, oranges, potatoes, grains, candy, bread, are all carbohydrates. Carbohydrates break down into glucose molecules. When used as energy, carbohydrate fuel becomes fuel for your muscles and brain. If your body does not have any use for the glucose, it is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles as an energy reserve.

    Your body can store about a half a day's supply of glycogen. If you body has more glucose than it can use as energy, or convert to glycogen for storage, the excess is converted to fat.

    Carbohydrates are divided into two categories:

    1. Simple Carbohydrates: Basically blood sugar or glucose. Foods containing simple carbohydrates are sweet tasting, like cookies, fruit, sugar, honey, candy, cake, etc. Simple Carbs are already very close to being in the digested form, so they pass into your bloodstream almost immediately.
    2. Complex Carbohydrates: These are found in foods prepared with grains and vegetables. Even though both simple and complex carbs provide needed glucose, the complex carbs provide several nutritional advantages, such as additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed for good health and performance.

    Source: www.indoorclimbing.com/carbohydrates.html

  • Carnauba Wax

    Carnauba Wax is obtained from the leaves of a palm tree known as Copernica Cerifera, which is also referred to as the “Tree of Life”. This slow-growing carnauba palm flourishes in the northeastern regions of Brazil. The tree exudes a wax through the petioles of its fan-shaped leaves, preventing dehydration from the equatorial climate.

    The leaves are harvested from the trees in the dry months of September through February. The leaves are sun-dried and mechanically thrashed to remove the crude wax. When the leaf is shredded the wax flakes off. A pound of carnauba wax is obtained from about 20 leaves. This powder is melted, strained and then molded into blocks, to be shipped to manufacturing countries.

    There are a wide variety of uses for Carnauba wax, such as Cosmetics, Glamour Products, Pharmaceuticals, Ointments, Tablet Coatings, Candles, Confections, Investment Castings, Auto, Floor and Shoe Polishes, Carbon Paper, Inks, and Paper Coatings, Fruit Coatings.

    *Carnauba Wax is FDA approved for end use under regulations 21CFR 184.1978 and 175.320 and is CTFA listed.

    Sources: www.spwax.com/spcarnau.htm and www.botgard.ucla.edu

  • Carrageenan

    Carrageenan is an extract from red seaweed, and is used in a variety of foods such as milk products and processed meat as a thickener, stabilizer and texturizer. It can be found in products such as ice cream, whipped cream, pudding, and yogurt.

    A number of studies have found that the widely used food additive carrageenan causes cancer in laboratory rats, and, its use in human food should be reconsidered. Although the studies have been conducted only in animals, enough evidence exists about the cancer-causing effects of carrageenan to limit the use of the food additive. The researchers reviewed 45 previously published animal studies and found that carrageenan is associated with the formation of ulcers in the intestines and cancerous tumors in the gut. Both undegraded and degraded forms of carrageenan are associated with malignancies.

    Carrageenan is taken up by intestinal cells rather easily, but the cells are unable to metabolize it. As carrageenan accumulates in cells it may cause them to breakdown, and over time this process could lead to ulceration.

    In 1972, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed limiting the type of carrageenan that could be used in food. But the regulatory effort was rescinded in 1979.

    There has been no substantive review by the FDA of carrageenan since the studies undertaken more than two decades ago. However, there has been increasing evidence regarding the cancer-promotion activity of undegraded carragneenan and further confirmation of the potential of degraded carrageenan.

    Source: www.mercola.com/2001/nov/3/carrageenan.htm

  • Certified Chemical Free

    Certified Chemical Free is term used to classify foods, mostly grains, that have been produced in a chemical free environment. Although, unlike organic products, “chemical free” farmers are not limited in the types of fertilizers that can be used on their crops. Natural fertilizers can be used such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, and still result in a chemical free product if applied at the right time during the growing season.

    Certified Chemical Free products are tested regularly to make sure they are and remain chemical free.

    Source: www.wheatmontana.com/faqs.php

  • Citric Acid

    Citric Acid is responsible for the tart taste of various fruits in which it occurs, e.g., lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples, and gooseberries. Citric acid is used in soft drinks and in laxatives, cathartics, and in canning fruit. Sour salt, used in cooking, is citric acid.

    Source: www.encylopedia.com

  • Dietary Fiber

    Dietary Fiber is an indigestible complex carbohydrate found in plants. Fiber is not a single food or substance. Fiber in it's self has no calories because the body cannot absorb it. Therefore, high fiber foods low in fat are low in calories such as fruits and vegetables.

    Fiber can be divided into two categories according to their physical characteristics and effects on the body: Water insoluble and water soluble. Each form functions differently and provides different health benefits.

    Insoluble fibers, such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, do not dissolve in water. Soluble fibers, such as gum and pectin, do dissolve in water.

    If you have been doctoring your bran in hopes of getting fiber's benefits, what you are mostly getting are larger, softer stools. This kind of fiber “bulks up” waste and moves it through the colon more rapidly, preventing constipation and possibly colon cancer.

    The trickiest accomplishments of fiber may lie with the stickiest kinds called gums and pectins, as they may keep cholesterol under control by removing bile acids that digest fat.

    The same types of fiber may regulate blood sugar as well. This is accomplished by coating the gut's lining and delaying stomach emptying. As a result, this can slow sugar absorption after a meal and may reduce the amount of insulin needed.

    Fiber is a weight watchers dream since fiber called cellulose and hemicellulose take up space in the stomach, making us feel full, therefore food intake is less.

  • Disodium Guanylate

    Disodium Guanylate is a food additive used as a flavor enhancer. It is very similar to disodium inosinate. For more information see disodium inosinate.

    Source: www.answers.com/topic/disodium-guanylate

  • Disodium Inosinate

    Disodium Inosinate is a food additive often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other snacks. It is used as a flavor enhancer, in synergy with monosodium glutamate (the sodium salt of glutamic acid, MSG). It is a fairly expensive additive, it is not used independently of glutamic acid; if disodium inosinate is present in a list of ingredients but MSG does not appear to be, it is likely that glutamic acid is provided as part of another ingredient.

    Disodium Inosinate Precautions:

    • Usually made from meat (especially sardines or other fish)
    • May trigger gout (a common form of arthritis (joint inflammation). It appears as an acute attack often coming on overnight. Within 12-24 hours there is severe pain and swelling in the affected joints).
    • Not permitted in foods for infants or young children.

    Sources: www.answers.com/topic/disodium-inosinate and www.rheumatology.org.nz/nz08003.htm

  • Fat

    Fat is a major source of calories or energy. Fat improves the taste and odor of foods and gives a feeling of fullness. Fats form the structures of our bodies, including muscles, nerves, membranes, and blood vessels and are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K in the body. Although some fat in the diet is necessary, too much fat can lead to heart disease, obesity and other health problems.

    Source: www.dietsite.com/dt/diets/hearthealthy/fatdictionary.asp

  • Ferrous Sulfate

    Ferrous Sulfate is a form of the mineral iron. Iron is important for many functions in the body, especially for the transport of oxygen in the blood. Ferrous sulfate is used as a dietary supplement, and to prevent and to treat iron deficiencies and iron deficiency anemia.

    Do not take ferrous sulfate if you have...

    • hemochromatosis
    • hemosiderosis, or
    • hemolytic anemia.

    * Ferrous sulfate may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.

    * If you do not have an iron deficiency, talk to your doctor about the uses of ferrous sulfate. Generally, ferrous sulfate should not be taken chronically by individuals with a normal iron balance.

    * Talk to you doctor before taking ferrous sulfate if you are pregnant.

    * Talk to your doctor before taking ferrous sulfate if your are breast-feeding a baby.

    * If you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips; tongue, or face; or hives), stop taking ferrous sulfate and seek emergency medical attention.

    * Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur. Continue taking ferrous sulfate and talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience...

    • stomach upset,
    • nausea or vomiting,
    • constipation,
    • diarrhea,
    • black or darker than normal appearing stools, or
    • temporary staining of the teeth.

    Source: www.drugs.com/ferrous_sulfate.html

  • Folic Acid

    Folic Acid (folate) is a B vitamin. It is used in our bodies to make new cells. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby's brain and spine. These birth defects are called neural tube defects or NTD's.

    Women need to take folic acid every day starting before they are pregnant to help prevent NTD's. The CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service urge every woman who could become pregnant to get 400 micrograms (400mcg) of synthetic folic acid every day.

    These birth defects happen in the first few weeks, often before a woman finds out that she is pregnant. All women should practice this habit of taking folic acid daily even when they are not planning to get pregnant.

    For folic acid to help, it needs to be taken every day starting before a woman becomes pregnant.

    Source: www.cdc.gov/node.do/id/090 0 f3ec80010af9

  • Fructose

    Fructose, levulose, or fruit sugar, simple sugar found in honey an in the fruit and other parts of plants. It is much sweeter than sucrose (cane sugar). It is best obtained by hydrolysis of inulin, a polysaccharide found in dahlia bulbs and the Jerusalem artichoke.

    It is found with glucose in nature. Glucose and fructose are formed in equal amounts when sucrose is hydrolyzed by the enzyme invertase or by heating with dilute acid; the resulting equimolar mixture of fructose and glucose, called invert sugar, in the major component of honey. Although assimilated into the body more slowly than white sugar, fructose has essentially the same nutritional value.

    Fructose is the sugar that is primarily found in fruit. It breaks down more slowly because it does not use insulin but is broken down by an enzyme in the bowel. Fructose looks identical to common white sugar, but is significantly sweeter. It is a safer sugar to use for diabetics, hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic.

    Sources: www.encylopedia.com/html/fl/fructose.asp and www.healthrecipes.com/fructose.html

  • Glucose

    Glucose is a simple sugar made by the body from carbohydrates in food. Glucose is the body's main source of energy. Glucose is a building block for most carbohydrates. Digestion causes carbohydrates to break down into glucose. After digestion glucose is carried into the blood and goes to body cells where it is used for energy or stored.

    Glucose is the most important sugar, necessary to support life. All cells in the body burn glucose for energy. The levels of glucose are controlled by the hormone insulin, and is what effects the condition, diabetes. Dextrose is another form of glucose.

    Sources: www.southeastmissourihospital.com/health/kids/digest/glossary.htm, www.weight-loss-i.com/weight-loss-glossary.htm and members.aol.com/henryhbk/healthdict.html

  • Glycerin

    Glycerin, sometimes spelled glycerine, is a commercial product whose principal component is glycerol. The term's glycerin, glycerine, and glycerol are often used interchangeably in the literature.

    Glycerin is one of the most versatile and valuable chemical substances known to man. Glycerin has over 1,500 known end uses, including many applications as an ingredient or processing aid in cosmetics, toiletries, personal care, drugs, and food products. It is also virtually non-toxic and non-irritating in its varied uses, and has no known negative environmental effects.

    It's a clear, odorless, viscous liquid with a sweet taste; glycerin is derived from both natural and petrochemical feedstocks. The physical properties and characteristics of glycerin are as significant as its chemical properties for many applications. These qualities enable glycerin to be used as a humectant, plasticizer, emollient, thickener, solvent, dispersing medium, lubricant, sweetener, bodying agent, antifreeze, and processing aid.

    Source: www.cleaning101.com/ol e o/whygly2.html

  • Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Fats

    Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Fats are unsaturated fats that have hydrogen added to make them saturated. Hydrogenation turns liquid oils into solid fats. For instance, soybean oil is “hydrogenated” to become a solid vegetable shortening.

    Also, hydrogenated vegetable oil may be added to margarine to make it solid at room temperature and easier to spread. Hydrogenation also helps increase product shelf life. Vegetable oil contains one or more of the following: soybean, cottonseed, and/or palm oil.

    Source: www.dietsite.com/dt/diets/hearthealthy/fatdictionary.asp

  • Invert Sugar

    Invert Sugar is created by combining a sugar syrup with a small amount of acid (such as cream of tarter or lemon juice) and heating. This inverts, or breaks down, the sucrose into its two components, glucose and fructose, thereby reducing the size of the sugar crystal structure, invert sugar produces a smoother product and is used in making candies such as fondant, and some syrups.

    Source: web.foodnetwork.com/food/web/encylopedia/termdetail/0,7770,3235,00.html

  • Iron

    Iron is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth; it is essential to most life forms and to normal human physiology. In humans, iron is an essential component of proteins involved in oxygen transport. It is also essential for the regulation of cell growth and differentiation.

    A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity. On the other hand, excess amounts of iron can result in toxicity and even death.

    There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme.

    Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells. Heme iron is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry.

    Iron in plant foods such as lentils and beans is arranged in a chemical structure called nonheme iron. This is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods.

    Heme iron is absorbed better than nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron.

    Source: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/iron.asp

  • Lactic Acid

    Lactic Acid is a colorless liquid organic acid. Lactic acid is a fermentation product of lactose (milk sugar); it is present in sour milk, koumiss, leban, yogurt, and cottage cheese. The protein in milk is coagulated (curdled) by lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced commercially for use in pharmaceuticals and foods, in leather tanning, and textile dyeing, and in making plastics, solvents, inks, and lacquers.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactic_acid

  • Lactose

    Lactose is a major sugar found in milk. This sugar occurs naturally in milk and is also called milk sugar. It is less sweet than any other sugar. It is used in baby formulas and candies. It is considered a nutritive sweetener because it has calories. Lactose is broken down in our digestive system by the help of an enzyme protein called lactase.

    Sources: www.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/wordpress/?glossary=lactose, www.nutribase.com/cookingi.shtml and www.lactose.co.uk/community/glossary.html

  • Magnesium

    Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.

    Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve functions, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a health immune system, and keeps bones strong.

    Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

    Source: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp

  • Malic Acid

    Malic Acid, an alpha-hydroxy organic acid, is sometimes referred to as a fruit acid. This is because malic acid is found in apples and other fruits. It is also found in plants and other animals, including humans. In fact, malic acid, in the form of it's anion malate, is a key intermediary the major biochemical energy-producing cycle in cells known as the citric acid or Krebs cycle located in the cells' mitochondria.

    Source: www.gettingwell.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/n u tsupdrugs/mal_0292.shtml

  • Maltitol

    Maltitol is a member of the family of bulk sweeteners known as polyols or sugar alcohols. It has a pleasant sweet taste, remarkably similar to sucrose. Maltitol is about 90% as sweet as sugar, non-cariogenic, and significantly reduced in calories. Maltitol is especially useful in the production of sweets, including sugarless hard candies, chewing gum, chocolates, baked goods and ice cream.

    Maltitol is made by the hydrogenation of maltose that is obtained from starch. Like other polyols, it does not brown or caramelize, as do sugars. Maltitol's high sweetness allows it to be used without other sweeteners. Although maltitol is often used to replace sugars in the manufacture of sugar-free foods, it may also be used to replace fat as it gives a creamy texture to food.

    Maltitol is slowly absorbed. Therefore, when maltitol is used, the rise in blood glucose and the insulin response associated with the ingestion of glucose is significantly reduced. The reduced caloric value of maltitol (2.1 calories per gram versus 4.0 of sugar) is consistent with the objective of weight control.

    Source: www23.netrition.com/steels_sweeteners_page.html

  • Maltodextrin

    Maltodextrin is a non-sweet, nutritive saccharide that is produced as a white, odorless powder. This specialty product has a multitude of functional properties and can be utilized in a wide range of applications.

    Source: http://food.oregonstate.edu/ref/malto_adm.html

  • Mineral Oil

    Mineral Oil, a clear, colorless, oily liquid that is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum. Mineral oil is used in medicine as a laxative and as an emollient. Given orally, it coats the bowel and softens the stool mass, thus easing the latter's passage. Mineral oil is completely indigestible and is not absorbed by the intestine. It is also commonly used as a lubricant along with many other applications.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_oil

  • Mono and Diglycerides

    Mono and Diglycerides are fats. They are made from oil, usually soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, or palm oil, act as emulsifiers (provide a consistent texture and prevent separation), and are used in most baked products to keep them from getting stale. In ice cream and other processed foods, including margarine, instant potatoes, and chewing gum, they serve as stabilizers, which give foods body and improve consistency.

    Mono and diglycerides themselves do not contain gluten. They are produced from glycerin and oil, which are heated to very high temperatures to allow the fat molecules to rearrange with the glycerin. There are no proteins, no allergens of any kind.

    Source: www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/monodiglycerides.html

  • Monosodium Glutamate

    Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most common amino acids (protein building blocks) found in nature. As glutamate, it is present in virtually all foods. Glutamate is found naturally in foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, peas, cheese, meats, fish, even human milk (20 times more than cow's milk).

    MSG is produced by fermentation process similar to that used in making beer, wine, yogurt, and vinegar. It is produced from natural products such as sugar cane molasses or tapioca. There is no difference between glutamate found in natural foods and that MSG. It acts as a flavor enhancer and adds a fifth taste, called “umami”, which is best described as a savory, broth-like or meaty taste. Some people may experience allergic reactions to MSG, producing dizziness, headaches, facial pressure, etc.

    Sources: www.msg.org.au/, www.eufic.org/gb/food/pag/food35/food352.htm and www.nutribase.com/cookingi.shtml

  • Monounsaturated Fat

    Monounsaturated Fat is considered to be probably the healthiest type of general fat. It has none of the adverse effects associated with saturated fats, trans-fat or omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Oils high in monounsaturates are better for cooking. Olive oil is the best as it has the highest oxidation threshold: i.e. it remains stable at higher temperatures and does not easily become hydrogenated or saturated.

    Source: www.annecollins.com/dietary-fat/monounsaturated.htm

  • Niacin

    Niacin (Nicotinic acid) (Vitamin B-3) is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for many aspects of health, growth, and reproduction. Niacin is required for cell respiration, helps in the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, proper circulation and healthy skin, functioning of the nervous system, and normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. It is used in the synthesis of sex hormones, treating schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and a memory-enhancer.

    Niacin given in drug dosage improves the blood cholesterol profile, and has been used to clear the body of organic poisons, such as certain insecticides. People report more mental alertness when this vitamin is in sufficient supply. It is found in dairy products, fish, lean meats, nuts, and eggs. Legumes and enriched breads and cereals also supply some niacin.

    Sources: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002409.htm and www.anyvitamins.com/vitamin-b3-niacin-info.htm

  • Organic

    Organic means that the food has been grown in safe and healthy soil using natural fertilizers free of synthetic pesticides or additives. To obtain this certification, the grower submits to on-site inspections, soil and water testing by an independent organization or state agency. He keeps careful records about his farming technique, and the farmland itself must be free of agrochemical use for at least three years prior to planting or harvesting crops. On-site inspections are conducted annually.

    Source: www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm

  • Pectin

    Pectin is classified as a soluble fiber. It is found in most plants, but is most concentrated in citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits) and apples. Pectin obtained from citrus peels is referred to as citrus pectin. Pectin is widely used in the food industry as a gelling agent to impart a gelled texture to foods; mainly fruit based foods such as jams and jellies.

    Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid pectin supplementation. Pectin may cause some side effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms as flatulence, cramps, gas and diarrhea. Pectin may have hypocholesterolaemic and antithrombotic activities. It has a putative action against colorectal cancer.

    Source: www.prostate.net/prostate-health-supplements-a-z/pectin/

  • Phosphoric Acid

    Phosphoric Acid can exist as a crystal or clear liquid. It is an oily, thick, colorless, and odorless liquid, or a thick, colorless, unstable crystalline solid.

    It is used in the manufacturing of phosphates, such as salts, soaps, detergents; fertilizers; yeast; fire control agents; opal glass; electric lights; dental cements; waxes and polishes; gelatine; ethylbenzene, propylene , and cumene; and soft drinks. It is used as an acid catalyst, soil stabilizer, antioxidant in food, acidulant and flavor agent in jellies and preserves, bonding agent for refractory bricks, and gasoline additive.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphoric_acid

  • Polyunsaturated Fat

    Polyunsaturated Fat is healthier than saturated fats, but like ALL fats they are high in calories and should be eaten sparingly. Polyunsaturated fat is found in vegetable oils like soybean, corn, sunflower and safflower. They also occur in oily fish.

    The good news is: polyunsaturated fat provides essential fatty acids for healthy skin and the development of body cells. The less good news is: polyunsaturates, which are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, are now considered to be a slight health risk. Instead, for optimum health, choose polyunsaturates that are rich in omega-3 EFAs. These include: flax oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts or oily fish.

    Source: www.annecollins.com/dieting/polyunsaturated-fat.htm

  • Potassium

    Potassium plays a key role in cellular functioning, regulating fluid, electrolyte & acid base balance in the body. It is also important for nerve transmission and muscle contractions. It may also be involved in bone calcification and muscle building. Potassium may also help to prevent high blood pressure and stroke, and may reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.

    Source: www.onepersonhealth.com/ppc/ingredients.jsp?source=google&kwd=potassium

  • Riboflavin

    Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) is a water-soluble vitamin, and works with other B vitamins. It is important for eyesight, healthy skin and red blood cell production and helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates. Lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and milk provide riboflavin in the diet. Breads and cereals are often fortified with riboflavin.

    Riboflavin is an essential vitamin and is easily destroyed by light. There is no known toxicity to riboflavin. Because riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin, excess amounts are easily excreted by the body in the urine.

    Sources: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002411.htm and www.dietitian.com/riboflavin.html

  • Saturated Fat

    Saturated Fat is usually solid or almost solid at room temperature. All animal fats, such as those in meat, poultry, and dairy products are saturated. Processed and fast foods are also saturated. Vegetable oils also can be saturated. Palm, palm kernel and coconut oil are saturated vegetable oils. (Fats containing mostly unsaturated fat can be more saturated through a process called “hydrogenation”.

    Saturated fats are very unhealthy fats. They make the body produce more cholesterol, which may raise blood cholesterol levels. Excess saturated fat is related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The amount of cholesterol found in foods is not as important as the amount on saturated fat.

    Of all the fats, saturated fat is the most potent determinant of blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat stimulates the production of LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) and therefore increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Saturated fat raises cholesterol levels and LDL-cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol itself.

    Source: www.dietsite.com/dt/diets/hearthealthy/fatdictionary.asp

  • Sodium Benzoate

    Sodium Benzoate or benzoate of soda, chemical compound, colorless or white crystalline, aromatic compound; the sodium salt of benzoic acid. It is soluble in water and is used as a preservative in foods and beverages; because it is poisonous, the concentration is limited by law to 0.1%.

    Source: www.encyclopedia.com/html/s1/sodiumbe.asp

  • Sodium Bicarbonate

    Sodium Bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate, chemical compound, a white crystalline or granular powder, commonly known as bicarbonate of soda or baking soda. It is soluble in water and very slightly soluble in alcohol. The major use of sodium bicarbonate is in foods, e.g., baked goods. It is used in effervescent “salts” and is sometimes used medically to correct excess stomach acidity. It is also used in several kinds of fire extinguishers.

    Source: www.answers.com/topic/sodium-bicarbonate

  • Sodium Nitrate

    Sodium Nitrate is a colorless, odorless crystalline compound that closely resembles potassium nitrate (saltpeter or niter) in appearance and chemical properties. It is soluble in water, alcohol, and liquid ammonia. Sodium nitrate is also called soda niter and Chili saltpeter. Sodium nitrate is used in making potassium nitrate, fertilizers, and explosives.

    Sodium nitrate and its close relative sodium nitrite are preservatives that you find in lots of processed meats. Products like salami, hot dogs, pepperoni, bologna, ham, bacon, and SPAM all normally contain sodium nitrate as one of the ingredients. Sodium nitrate is used to preserve the color of the meat (meaning that it looks pink like SPAM rather that gray like cooked hamburger).

    There are questions whether sodium nitrate is harmful or not. Sodium nitrate reacts with stomach acid and other chemicals in the stomach to produce nitrosamines, which have been shown to cause cancer in animals when consumed in large quantities. However, there is not much sodium nitrate/nitrite in meats, and we consumed sodium nitrate/nitrite from other foods as well, so it is not clear that they are harmful in the quantities we get from meats. Canned chicken and tuna are not red meats, so they generally do not contain nitrates.

    Sources: www.science.howstuffworks.com/question233.htm and www.encyclopedia.com/html/s1/sodiumni.asp

  • Sorbitol

    Sorbitol, a polyol (sugar alcohol), is a bulk sweetener found in numerous food products. Sorbitol is about 60% as sweet as sucrose with one third fewer calories, about 2.6 calories per gram. It has smooth mouth feel with a sweet, cool and pleasant taste. It is a non-cariogenic and may be useful to people with diabetes. It is also used in other products, such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Sorbitol occurs naturally in a wide variety of fruits and berries. Today it is commercially produced by the hydrogenation of glucose and is available in both liquid and crystalline form.

    Sorbitol is used as a humectant in many types of products against loss of moisture content. The moisture-stabilizing and texture properties of sorbitol are used in the production of confectionary, baked goods, and chocolates where products tend to become dry or harden. Sorbitol also combines well with other food ingredients such as sugars, gelling agents, proteins and vegetable fats. It functions well in many food products such as chewing gums, candies, frozen desserts, cookies, cakes, icings and fillings as well as oral care products, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

    Sorbitol is slowly absorbed. Therefore, when sorbitol is used, the rise in blood glucose and the insulin response associated with the ingestion of glucose is significantly reduced. Polyols, including sorbitol, are resistant to metabolism by oral bacteria, which break down sugars, and starches to release acids that may lead to cavities or erode tooth enamel.

    **Sorbitol has been affirmed as GRAS (General Recognized As Safe) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    Source: www.caloriecontrol.org/sorbitol.html

  • Soy Protein

    Soy Protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a “complete” protein profile. Soybeans contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition, which must be supplied in the diet because they can not be synthesized by the human body. Soy protein can replace animal foods--which also have complete proteins but tend to contain more fat, especially saturated fat, without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet.

    The FDA has determined that diets with four daily soy servings can reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), the so-called “bad cholesterol” that builds up in blood vessels, by as much as 10 percent. This number is significant because heart experts generally agree that a 1 percent drop in total cholesterol can equal a 2 percent drop in heart disease risk. Heart disease kills more than any other illness. Disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, cause nearly 1 million deaths yearly.

    Source: www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2000/300_soy.html

  • Sucrose

    Sucrose, is the commonest of the sugars, a white, crystalline solid disaccharide with a sweet taste. It is known commonly as cane sugar, beet sugar, or maple sugar, depending upon its natural source. Sucrose is made from one molecule each of glucose and fructose Combined.

    Refined sugar has had its salts, fibers, proteins, vitamins and minerals removed to leave a white, crystalline substance devoid of any nutritional content, only offering empty calories. Sugars contained in nature, whole foods are easily metabolized by the body.

    Sucrose on the other hand, devoid of vital minerals, becomes a greedy starch, which can not metabolize completely in our bodies, resulting in the formation of metabolites, such as pyruvic acid and unstable sugars containing five carbon atoms.

    These toxic by-products interfere with the respiration of cells, preventing them from acquiring sufficient oxygen to function correctly. These poisonous metabolites, in their radical or oxidation format, are constantly seeking to stabilize themselves by robbing our healthy cells of available electrons.

    This action in turn degrades the cell and the cell dies. All refined sugars are parasitic. They leach valuable minerals from the body. Sugar can cause copper deficiency, which reduces the elasticity of veins and arteries, leading to aneurism and stroke. The body must digest, detoxify and then eliminate sucrose because it can not make cell structure from it. Typically the body combats sucrose by mobilizing elements such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium and calcium to form compounds with the invading sucrose in an attempt to transmute it chemically into a form the body can either store or eliminate.

    Excess sugar is initially stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. When the liver can no longer cope with the load, it pours the accumulated sucrose toxins back into the bloodstream in the form of fatty acids, which are then taken to storage areas of the body, namely the belly, thighs, hips, breasts and the back of our upper arms.

    Once the storage areas are filled, the body begins to distribute the metabolite acids into the active organs, such as the heart and kidneys. This in turn causes hormonal imbalances, abnormal blood pressure as the circulatory and lymphatic systems are invaded, depleting vital vitamin C reserves and threatening the cardiovascular system.

    Sources: www.bartleby.com/65/su/sucrose.html, www.sportstek.net/avoiding_refined_sugar.htm and www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&oi=defmore&q=define:sucrose

  • Sugar Alcohol

    Sugar Alcohol is neither a sugar nor an alcohol. It comes from fruits, trees, and other plants. It is formed when its sugar source is hydrogenated. An enzyme changes the linkage between glucose and fructose in sucrose (sugar) and two hydrogen atoms are added to oxygen. An alcohol group is attached to the molecule.

    Sugar alcohol is considered a “nutritive sweetener”. (non-nutritive sweeteners include Equal, Sweet'n Low, and Splenda, and basically have no calories). The FDA considers these food products safe.

    Sugar Alcohols or “polyols” generally have half the sweetness and half the calories as sugar, so this is why they are frequently used by the food industry to sweeten foods. They also may reduce the risk of dental caries (rotten teeth). Sugar has 4 calories per gram and sugar alcohol has about 2 calories per gram. Sugar alcohols are low-digestible carbohydrates and are absorbed slowly and incompletely, having a smaller effect on blood glucose. Once absorbed, they are converted in to energy by processes that require little or no insulin. Some of the sugar alcohol is not absorbed into the blood and is passed out of the small intestine and is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. Thus, over consumption may produce abdominal gas and discomfort in some individuals. Total daily consumption should be considered since it is the total intake that may primarily drive laxative effects. Also, consuming large amounts can add up and affect both you blood glucose and calories intake.

    Sugar alcohols are not acted upon by bacteria in the mouth, and therefore do not cause tooth decay. Xylitol has been found to inhabit oral bacteria, and is often used in sugarless mints and chewing gums for this reason.

    The following are sugar alcohols:

    • Sorbitol
    • Lactitol
    • Xylitol
    • Mannitol
    • Maltitol
    • Erythritol
    • Dulcitol
    • Starch Hydrolysates
    • Isomalt

    Sources: www.dif.org/diabetestopics/sugaralcohols.htm and www.ific.org/publications/factsheets/sugaralcoholfs.cfm

  • Sulphur Dioxide

    Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas. It smells like burnt matches. Natural sources of sulphur dioxide include releases from volcanoes, oceans, and biological decay and forest fires. The most important man-made sources of sulphur dioxide are fossil fuel combustion, smelting, manufacture of sulphuric acid, conversion of wood pulp to paper, incineration of refuse and production of elemental sulphur. Coal burning is the single largest man-made source of sulphur dioxide accounting for about 50% of the annual global emissions.

    The major health concerns associated with exposure to high concentrations of sulphur dioxide include effects on breathing, respiratory illness, alterations in pulmonary defenses, and aggravation of existing cardiovascular disease. In the atmosphere, sulphur dioxide mixes with water vapor producing sulphuric acid. This acidic pollution can be transported over many hundreds of miles, and deposited as acid rain.

    Source: www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/acid_rain/older/sulphur_dioxide.html

  • Tartaric Acid

    Tartaric Acid is a white crystalline organic acid. It occurs naturally as algol (an impure form of potassium hydrogen tartrate) which is a by-product of the fungus responsible for the fermentation of wine, giving wine some of it's sharp taste, and is also found in tamarinds. It is added to other foods to give an acid taste, and as an antioxidant. Important derivatives of tartaric acid include its salts, cream of tarter (potassium hydrogen tartrate), Rochelle salt (potassium sodium tartrate, a mild laxative) and tartar emetic (antimony potassium tartrate). Tartaric acid is a muscle toxin, which works by inhibiting the production of malic acid, and in high doses causes paralysis and death. The minimum recorded fatal dose for a human is about 12 grams. In spite of that, it is included in many foods, especially sour-tasting sweets.

    Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tartaric_acid

  • Tert - Butylhydroquinone

    Tert- Butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) is a food antioxidant. Antioxidants are cell protectors. Oxygen, an essential element for life, can create damaging by-products during normal cellular metabolism. Antioxidants counteract these cellular by-products, called free radicals, and bind with them before they can cause damage. If left unchecked, free radicals may cause heart damage, cancer, cataracts, and a weak immune system. Antioxidants come in a variety of forms and include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, the Carotenoids, and Selenium.

    Sources: dmd.aspetjournels.org/cgi/content/short/dmd.104.002253v1 and www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/5aday/faq/our_health_5.htm

  • Titanium Dioxide

    Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) (Titania) is an inorganic oxide occurring in nature, brilliant white in color with many time the covering power of zinc oxide. It's a white pigment available in two crystalline forms, rutile and anatase, the former being the most widely used white and opacifying pigment in thermoplastics, painting inks, and paints. It also functions as a sunblock to both UVA and UVB rays. It's a non-chemical; common agent used in sunscreen a product that works by physically blocking the sun.

    Elemental titanium and titanium dioxide is of a low order of toxicity. Effects of overexposure to titanium powder: Dust inhalation may cause tightness and pain in chest, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. Contact with skin or eyes may cause irritation. Routes of entry are inhalation, skin contact, and eye contact.

    Sources: www.lenntech/periodic-chart-elements/Ti-en.htm and www.google.com/search?hl=en&1r=&oi=defmore&q=define:titanium+dioxide

  • Trans Fat

    Trans Fat also known as “trans fatty acids”, is an artery clogging fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening. The term used for this process is called hydrogenation . It is found in many other foods besides margarine and shortening, however, including fried foods, like french fries and fried chicken, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, and crackers. In the United States, Typical french fries have about 40 percent trans fatty acids and many popular cookies and crackers range from 30 percent to 50 percent trans fatty acids. Doughnuts have about 35 percent to 40 percent trans fatty acids.

    Trans Fat is known to increase blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), of “bad cholesterol”, while lowering levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) known as “good cholesterol”. Trans fats tend to raise total blood cholesterol levels. However, they don't raise cholesterol as much as saturated fatty acids do. It's not clear if trans fats that occur naturally have the same effect as those produced by hydrogenating vegetable oils. Trans fat can also cause major clogging of arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, and was found to increase the risk of heart disease. Many food companies use trans fat instead of oil because it reduces cost, extends shelf life of products and can improve flavor and texture.

    Sources: http://healthdiscovery.com/encyclopedias/1942.html, www.mercola.com/2003/jul/19/trans_fat.htm and www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2003/503_fats.html

  • Triglycerides

    Triglycerides are another type of fat. Triglycerides are the main form of fat in foods. They are produced by the body and stored as fat from excess calories from any source (protein, carbohydrates, or fat). Drinking alcohol can also increase levels of triglycerides. Having high triglyceride levels is not necessarily a risk factor of heart disease but the risk goes up when coupled with other risk factors.

    Source: www.dietsite.com/dt/diets/hearthealthy/fatdictionary.asp

  • Vitamin A

    Vitamin A , a fat-soluble vitamin, is involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Vitamin A helps us to see in dim light and is necessary for proper bone growth, tooth development, and reproduction.

    Source: www.ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5551.html

  • Vitamin B1

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) , is one of the eight water-soluble B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is “burned” to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, are essential in the breakdown of fats and protein. B complex vitamins also play an important role in maintaining muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promoting the health of the nervous system, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

    Similar to some other B complex vitamins, thiamine is considered an “anti-stress” vitamin because it is believed to enhance the activity of the of the immune system and improve the body's ability to withstand stressful conditions.

    Thiamine is found in both plants and animals and plays a crucial role in certain metabolic reactions, particularly, as mentioned, the conversion of carbohydrates (starches) into energy. For example, thiamine is essential during exercise, when energy expenditure is high. Thiamine deficiency is rare, but tends to occur in people who get most of their calories from sugar or alcohol. Individuals with thiamine deficiency have difficulty digesting carbohydrates. As a result, a substance called pyruvic acid builds up in the bloodstream, causing a loss of mental alertness, difficulty breathing, and heart damage. In general, thiamine supplements are primarily used to treat this deficiency known as beriberi.

    Source: www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b1-000333.htm

  • Vitamin C

    Vitamin C , a water soluble vitamin, in important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also helps maintain capillaries, bones, and teeth and aids in the adsorption of iron.

    Source: www.ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5552.html

  • Xylitol

    Xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. It is a naturally occurring 5-carbon sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables and produced in small amounts in the body. It is the sweetest of polyols with the same sweetness as sugar (sucrose) but with 40% fewer calories and none of the negative tooth decay or insulin release effects of sugar.

    Xylitol is one of bacteria's natural enemies. When certain harmful bacteria enter the body, they attach to the membranes of the nose and throat. They begin to culture and grow, causing infection and sickness. When exposed to Xylitol (specifically Strep pneumo and H Flu), these harmful bacteria lose their ability to adhere to infected membranes and are not able to grow. Unlike most antibiotics, which kill the majority of bacteria and leave the resistant “super bacteria” behind, Xylitol merely flushes harmful bacteria away.

    Xylitol as a sweetener is recommended for diabetics and people with hypoglycemia. It has a low glycemia index (7) and has little effect on blood sugar levels.

    Source: www.xlear.com/about-xylitol.aspx