Pack­ag­ing Ma­te­rial – Which Is the Safest?

Consumer Voice - - Food & Stuff -

Thick­en­ers are food ad­di­tives that in­crease the vis­cos­ity of food­stuffs. Per­mit­ted thick­en­ing agents in sauces and chut­neys are: guar gum, xan­than gum, gum ara­bic, al­gi­nates, and pectins.

No ad­verse ef­fects have been linked to their con­sump­tion.

Acid­i­fy­ing agents

Th­ese are food ad­di­tives that reg­u­late the acid­ity lev­els of a food item. A spe­cific acid­ity level is re­quired to main­tain the in­tegrity of a recipe for a longer pe­riod of time. Acid­ity reg­u­la­tors not only pre­vent the mi­cro­bial spoilage of a prepa­ra­tion but also give a par­tic­u­lar aroma to the prepa­ra­tion and de­lay the brown­ing of fruits and veg­eta­bles. Cit­ric acid is a com­monly used acid­ity reg­u­la­tor that also en­hances the ac­tiv­ity of an­tiox­i­dants. Other per­mit­ted acid­ity reg­u­la­tors in chut­neys and sauces are fu­maric acid, malic acid, L-tar­taric acid, and phos­phoric acid.

If con­sumed in large amounts, acid­i­fy­ing agents can have se­ri­ous ad­verse ef­fects on health.


An­tiox­i­dants pre­vent the ox­i­da­tion of foods which re­sults in ran­cid­ity or dis­coloura­tion. Syn­thetic ascor­bic acid pre­serves the colour of freshly cut fruits and veg­eta­bles in chut­neys and sauces.

Some peo­ple can be al­ler­gic to syn­thetic ascor­bic acid.

Sta­bilis­ers and se­ques­trants

Sta­bilis­ers are the food ad­di­tives that aid in main­tain­ing the tex­ture of the prepa­ra­tion and pre­vent­ing the sep­a­ra­tion of in­gre­di­ents. Se­ques­trants im­prove the qual­ity and sta­bil­ity of the food prod­uct and pre­vent the ox­i­da­tion of fats in the food. Sodium hex­am­etaphos­phate is a per­mit­ted and com­monly used ad­di­tive in chut­neys and sauces.

Con­tin­u­ous us­age of phos­phate salt in­ter­rupts the phos­phate bal­ance and other min­eral mech­a­nisms in the body. Hence, it is best to avoid con­tin­u­ous us­age of packet sauces and chut­neys.

Some Com­mon Claims Nat­u­ral and fresh

FSSAI have reg­u­la­tions for claims such as ‘nat­u­ral’ and ‘fresh’, and clearly in­di­cates that th­ese terms are not ap­pli­ca­ble to prod­ucts like pick­les, sauces, and

The term ‘tra­di­tional’ is used to de­scribe a recipe, a fun­da­men­tal for­mu­la­tion, or a pro­cess­ing method for a prod­uct that has ex­isted for a sig­nif­i­cant pe­riod run­ning over gen­er­a­tions and should have been avail­able, sub­stan­tially un­changed, for that same pe­riod. Packet chut­neys and sauces that have food ad­di­tives can­not make such claims.

Low sugar

For chut­neys and sauces to claim to be ‘low in sugar’, they must not con­tain more than five grams of sugar per 100 grams of the food sub­stance.

Low salt

For chut­neys and sauces to claim to be ‘low in salt’, they must not con­tain more than 120 mg of sodium, or 500 mg salt, per 100 grams of the food sub­stance.

No added preser­va­tives

Check the in­gre­di­ent list on the food la­bel. If you find any Class II preser­va­tive, then the prod­uct has cer­tain syn­thetic preser­va­tives in it. Glass bot­tles and jars are the most apt pack­ag­ing ma­te­rial for chut­neys and sauces as they are slightly can lead to haz­ardous im­pact on health if a non­foiled plas­tic item is used. Sauces and chut­neys are also avail­able in foiled MET/ PET pack­ets, which are con­sid­ered to be safer than plas­tic items. When made at home, chut­neys and sauces must be stored in a glass jar or a bot­tle, not in a metal­lic or plas­tic uten­sil.

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