By Paul Scicluna
I remember eating ice cream when I was young. It seemed so different back then… and as you read on you’ll find it is very different from back then.
Unfortunately, gone are the days when your sweet favourites and tasty treats where generally made from good wholesome products.
Some companies are doing everything they can to reduce their costs of production and increase profits. But where does it end? I don’t believe profits should come before risking people’s lives!
I know that ice cream is a huge favourite for lots of people, especially children. So before you think that it’s just a bit of sugar, so it can’t be that bad for yourself or your children, read on. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to feed yourself or your children paint remover… Correct?
Depending on the country you reside in, some manufacturers by law don’t have to list the chemical ingredients they put into their ice cream. Also a lot of them are filling the ice cream with air during production to increase the volume. This is not a dangerous practice, you’re just getting less product for the same price. Talk about deceitful.
Many of the commercial ice creams being produced today are simply chemical cocktails presented to you in a nice looking package to influence you to salivate and buy the product. However, I believe that is not fit for human consumption.
Again depending on country, manufacturer and product, analysis has shown that some if not most of the following chemicals are in many of the commercial ice creams.
Diethyl glycol (DEG) - Is used as a paint solvent and to make polyester resins and plasticisers. It’s also used in anti-freeze for engines and paint removers. It's used as a cheap substitute (emulsifier) instead of eggs in ice cream to thicken the product. It was stated by the FDA that this substance in ANY amount is not suitable for use in toothpastes. So why is it allowed to be put into things people ingest?
Piperonal also known as heliotropin - Is used in place of vanilla as a cheap substitute. It’s listed in the National Library of Medicine HSDB Database as “moderately toxic” as well as a “human skin irritant”. It’s used in head lice formulas to kill lice. No matter how well you sugar coat it - “moderately toxic” is still toxic!
Ethyl Acetate (EtOAc or EA) - Is used as a pineapple flavor. It is also used as a cleaner for leather and textiles. It’s used in paints as an activator or hardener as well as being use in some glues and nail polish removers. Its vapors have been known to cause chronic lung, liver and heart damage.
Aldehyde C-17 - Is used as a cherry flavour. It is an inflammable liquid also used in aniline dyes and the manufacture of plastic and rubber.
Amyl Acetate (pentyl acetate, also known as banana oil) - Is used as a flavoring agent mainly as banana flavour. It’s also used as a paint and lacquer solvent.
Butyraldehyde (butanal) - Derived from butane. Is used in the manufacturing of plasticisers, alcohols, solvents, polymers, rubber accelerators and cements, textile auxiliaries, perfumery and flavors.
Benzyl Acetate (phenylmethyl acetate) - Used as a fragrance and food flavoring agent to name but one of its uses. It’s also used in detergents, soaps, inks, polishers, lacquers and as a solvent in plastics and resins.
Propylene Glycol (1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol) - Is used in food colors, as a humectant (E1520) and preservative in food and for tobacco products. It’s also a solvent in plastics and paint, used in aircraft de-icing fluid, automotive engine anti-freeze, liquid household and dishwashing detergents, as well as industrial soaps and cleaning fluids. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) lists the kidneys, urinary and respiratory system as well as the skin as being affected by propylene glycol. The acute oral toxicity of propylene glycol is classed as very low. However, low or not, it still is toxic.
Sodium benzoate (E211) - Is mainly used as a preservative in foods, drinks, medicines and cosmetics. Just a preservative... it sounds so innocent... It’s also used in fireworks as a fuel. It’s been shown in studies to be a carcinogenic substance. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at Sheffield University, in 2007 said “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it; they knock it out altogether. The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it – as happens in a number of diseased states – then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing."
Also when it’s combined with vitamin C or E, this combination causes benzene to be formed. Benzene has been shown to cause cancer.
Potassium sorbate (E202) - is used as a preservative to inhibit the growth of yeast and molds to increases shelf life. It’s been shown to be a respiratory, skin and eye irritant. Some studies have shown that it’s both genotoxic and mutagenic to human blood cells. Potassium sorbate is found to be toxic to human DNA and that it negatively affects immunity.
Polysorbate 80 (E433 as well as many other names) - is used as an emulsifier in foods, particularly in ice cream. Also used in soaps and shampoos. It’s been shown to suppress the immune system and it can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock.
These are some of the most common chemical ingredients that can be found in many commercial ice creams. Below are a few more and depending on which country you live in, unfortunately you might be able to find many more.
Monoglycerides, diglycerides and triglicerides
Modified corn starch
So instead of going for the tub of antifreeze, paint remover, leather cleaner, and lice killer. Make your own. Yes it takes a little time but at least you know you’re not paying to slowly poison yourself or your loved ones.
Go to our Media page for our own home-made, delicious and truly natural ice cream recipes – without the chemicals!
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