Due to the necessity of keeping the food’s natural characteristics and appearance for longer, to meet the requirements of consumers, and because of the short life that natural food have, certain chemical compound have discovered and developed certain ways to preserve food and extend their life for longer. Furthermore, there are many different types of chemical compounds were added to our daily diet, yet certain chemical compounds can be listed on the nutrition label, and even they cannot be tested or seen on the products.Butylated hydroxyanisole and Butylated hydroxytoluene and Ethanol are among of that chemical compounds, which were used in certain food and beverages in order to preserve them. The aim of this essay is to discuss the use of BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and Ethanol in the food industry, also this essay will discuss and define the side effects of them on our daily diet. Both BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) are phenolic compounds.The phenolic compound is a type of organic chemistry which made of a hydroxyl group (-OH) and bonded to an aromatic hydrocarbon group known as phenols or phenolics (James, 2012).
BHA and BHT are developed since 1947, which were used to check the oxidation in rubber products, before they were used as food preservatives. Nowadays BHA and BHT are widely used in food products as well as in the pharmaceutical field. Also it believed that BHA and BHT are self-treatment medications, and also they can be a replacement for vitamin A and E.However so far there is no side-affect have discovered on these two(James, 2012). Although both BHA and BHT are widely used, but consumers are only aware of BHT as a food additive, which approximately 5% of it is used the United States in food. The function of BHT is based on the physical properties which consist of crystalline solid and organic acid that has the melting point of 122oC and boiling point of 249oC.In addition of the use of BHT in food products and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, 85% of BHT uses also as antioxidant in rubber and plastic, and 9% used in fluids petroleum products such as gasoline and motor oils.
BHT is also used widely in insecticides, synthetic, detergents, asphalt floor tiles, pants, and inks. BHA and BHT are chemicals in the form of colorless, odourless, and tasteless gases. The function of these chemicals is to slow down the rate of fats and oils at which can being react with oxygen, to avoid them from spoiling(John, 1991).Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) can be defined as an organic solvent from the primary alcohol family, which can be dissolve in water.
Also is known as effective antifungal agent which is widely used in the field of food preservation(Blakistone, 1998). The function of ethanol is based on its properties which consist of hydrophobic moiety gained from the alkane ethane, and a polar hydroxyl group, which contain a hydrogen atom that is bonded to a highly electronegative element of oxygen. Ethanol used in food industry as a preserver, as well as an essential ingredient for some food products. 976 was the first use of ethanol in the food industry, and that was in United State, for bakery products to improve the taste and the shelf life by adding ethanol before packing. Although ethanol proved it is an effective antimicrobial agent, it is also a factor of delaying the rate of staling of both bread and cake(Russell, 2003). To conclude, the idea of preserving food, basically is based on making a powerful environment of food that able to fight the bacteria from being active or produce, and thus it avoid food from spoiling.
Both BHT and BHA are antioxidants, they are mostly used as a preservative in food and beverages, beside the use in the food preservation, however, BHA and BHT can be used to preserve fats and oils in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals (John, h. 1991). Ethanol used in food industry as an ingredient for some food products to improve the taste, also can be used as preserver, so some type of cake and bread, treated with ethanol before packaging to increase their shelf life.In addition of the usage of ethanol in the food preservation, it also uses widely in the herbal and alternative medicine(Blakistone, 1998). Bibliography Blakistone. B. (1998) Principle and Applications of Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Foods.
Chapman ; Hall. James. A. (2012) General, Organic, and Biochemistry. Brooks/Cole.
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(1991) Toxics A to Z. The Regents of the University of California. Russell. I, Gould. G.
(2003) Food Preservatives. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.