Saturday, February 16, 2008

Food stuffs

I had some chips at a braai over Christmas that, I could tell by looking at them, were not good to eat. But they were tasty. I bought a bag myself last week, partially so I could check out the ingredients at home. Also because they were tasty. Here's what a bag of Champ Hot Puffs contains, as per its ingredient listing:

Sugar, Salt, Acidifying Agents (E330), Permitted flavourants, MSG E621, Herbs & Spices, Vegetable oil with antioxidants, Permitted Colourants (E122, E110, E160c), Free flowing Agent, Extracts of Herbs and Spices, Flavour Enhancer (Nucleotides), Non Nutritive Sweetener

Wow. A more non-informative ingredient listing I have never seen. Given how I felt Friday morning, after having 1/3 of a bag Thursday night, I'm wondering what some of the more obscure ingredients actually are. The “Non Nutritive Sweetener” could be cyclamates or saccharin, given that they are still in use here in southern Africa. I've never even heard of “Nucleotides”. Makes me feel like I should be glowing in the dark. MSG is a no-brainer, I know I react to large quantities of that. Thankfully, I have a Widget that converts E-numbers to plain English names. Here's what the other chemicals are:

E330 - Citric acid: occurs naturally in citrus fruits
E122 - Carmoisine: red colour, a.k.a. D&C Red #10
E110 - Sunset colour FCF: yellow colour, may increase hyperactivity in sensitive children, take care if you are sensitive to aspirin, a.k.a. FD&C Yellow #6
E160c - Capsanthin: not permitted in Australia, paprika extract

So, I'll finish the bag but not buy them again. Probably had not more effect on my liver than a few beers or a couple of ibuprofen. Still, not really into needless liver-buffeting, me.

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