BHA & BHT: Additives

By Lisa Tsakos on September 17, 2008

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) & BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

Two closely related chemicals, BHA and BHT are added to foods containing fats and oils.

BHA is used to prevent fats from becoming rancid. It is found in cereals, dehydrated potatoes, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, beer, and animal feed.

 

BHT also slows oxidation of fats. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. Many packaging materials, such as cereals, contain BHT. It is also added directly to shortening, cereals, and other foods containing fats and oils.

Research suggests that both BHA and BHT are potential carcinogens and endocrine disrupters because they mimic the hormonal actions of estrogen. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency consider BHA a possible carcinogen. There is also evidence that some people may have difficulty metabolizing BHA and BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes.

 

Image: Dalboz17

By Lisa Tsakos| September 17, 2008
Categories:  Eat
Keywords:  Food Labels

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Lisa Tsakos

Lisa Tsakos

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