Cake Decorators Do you know how safe are food additives?
I like to thank you all for the emails sent during the holiday season, and for all those questions and comments about the food colors information.
Today, I will present you the new sweetener in the market. A product that according to Pure Circle, the largest supplier of Reb A (RebaudiosideA), derived from stevia plant is bake-stable.
Researching about stevia plant, I found that this plant has being historically used in South America to sweeten the tea. There is a lot of information about the controversial history of the sweet food additives that we use in our kitchen.
In the web site http://www.foodeducate.com/blog/2008/12/18/the-unnatural-history-of sweet-from sugar to stevia, you will find a very well done historical account of sweet food additives that had been approved by FDA and then banned some years after being determined to be dangerous to human. Stevia was banned in 1991 or considered unsafe for the use of humans. Although unresolved questions remain concerning whether metabolic processes can produce a mutagen from stevia in animals, the early studies prompted the European Commission to ban stevia’s use in food in the European Union, pending further research: Singapore and Hong Kong have banned it also. However, more recent data compiled in the safety evaluation released by the World Health Organization in 2006 suggest that policies may be obsolete. On December 2008, 18 years after the FDA deemed it unsafe, stevia is granted GRAS status (Generally Regarded as safe).
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, in their web site, under food safety/food additives link, you will find alphabetically listed additives today in the market. It will tell you, which are safe, which to cut back and the reason to do so, which avoid, and which not to use. Scroll down to stevia. I invite you to visit: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm or http://www.cspinet.org/foodsafety/additives_stevia.html
One of the basic ingredients of our trade is sugar. It is our responsibility as bakers and cake decorators to be informed of the quality of the products we place in our cakes and cookies. I suggest you to search for the pros and cons of additives like saccharin, aspartame, sucralose and stevia and how they can affect the health of our customers and family.
I invite you to read carefully today information and visit the links, for you to be able to make the best decision of what type of additives to place in your food.
In the mean time, I will use sugar anytime. Happy Cake Decorating.