What are processing aids?

We eat them on a daily basis without knowing what they are!

Processing aids are continually used to process our food. They are not ingredients in themselves, but traces of them can be found in the products we consume once they have been processed.

Different from additives

Food additives are defined as a substance added to a food in order to change its appearance, taste or preservation. You can read all about ingredients and how to read packaging in the following article. On the packaging, additives will be listed either by their name or by an E, followed by its corresponding figures. We advise you to use products with the least amount of additives possible, especially if you are giving these products to your children as the risk of cumulation are high and their long-term effects can be harmful.

A processing aid is a substance that allows the transformation of raw materials to make a product with certain characteristics; for example, anti foam aids are used in the washing of fruits and vegetables which are subsequently frozen or canned. There are also washing and peeling agents, in which vegetables are immersed before being peeled and rinsed or in which fish is immersed before its skin is removed and there is paraffin which is used to stop food sticking to its mould. In total, there are in 16 categories of processing aids, each with a specific role to help to the transformation of a product.

Despite rinsing off processing aids after their use in the manufacturing process of products, we inevitably find residues of these substances in our consumer products, especially in refined oils which have even more processing aids added to them to regulate their acidity (pH) and their homogeneity. Quite simply, the more transformations a product undergoes, the more likely it is to contain processing aids in order to modify its properties.

Processing aids can be enzymes, solvents or substances that are more or less chemical. Unfortunately, they have not been sufficiently regulated and have not been sufficiently studied to understand their real impact on our health. As they are not real ingredients entering the composition of the products, we, as consumers, have no way of knowing what these processing aids are and in what quantities they exist.

Just like pesticides or additives, we can only assume that these substances cause allergies, or at least have some sort of reaction on us during their consumption.

At Maïa Baudelaire, we recommend you consume plenty of raw products and to avoid, whenever possible, foods and dishes that are pre-prepared. For example, choose potatoes in their natural state, rather than ready-to-eat, peeled and pre-cut potatoes. Of course, buying raw foods and cooking them in advance to freeze them is the safest, most practical and most efficient way to consume fresh, quality products all year long!

That is why we launched our program “Bikini” which includes regular follow-ups by a dietician nutritionist. Menu planning is undertaken by your assigned coach who offers you fresh, seasonal and enjoyable meals throughout the program. Once your target is set, your coach will be there to motivate, advise and accompany you in your weight loss. Our program is designed to save you time, by taking out the hassle of designing balanced recipes, or traveling for consultations that instead, are done on the phone. This program will allow you to find balance in your diet and in your daily life. Enjoy it now, and we guarantee your summer will be even more enjoyable!

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