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Food Additives in Products for Children Marketed in Brazil

DOI: 10.5923/j.fph.20120205.03

Keywords: Food Additives, Children, Database, Artificial Dyes

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Abstract:

Studies show children suffer from adverse effects to food additives, in both acute and chronic forms. Children are among the biggest consumers of processed products and have more susceptibility to these adverse effects. In Brazil, there are few data about the exposure to food additives. Therefore, the objective of this article is to elaborate a database of food additives present in products for children. This database was built from August 2010 to October 2010 from the nutritional information on products for children, which could be found on the web site of a Brazilian supermarket. The information contained on product labels of all foods commercialized on the site were analysed, and those with some description or image directed to children, as well as products generally consumed by children, were organized in four categories (cereals and cereal products, dairy and meat products, candy and chocolate, beverages). The number of additives present in each product, the percentages of each class of additive present in the different food categories and the presence of artificial dyes in each category were presented in tables. Among the 5882 products commercialized on the web site, excluding alcoholic beverages, 506 (8.60%) products were classified as children products, from which 468 products contained information on their ingredients (and additives) and 438 products contained at least one additive in their formulation. The most used additives were lecithin (45.30%) and citric acid (22.86%) and artificial dyes allura red (9.83%), tartrazine (6.84%), sunset yellow (5.77%), brilliant blue (5.77%). Future studies could be carried out to evaluate the amount used and the intake of these additives by Brazilian children.

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