Polyglyceride fatty acid esters is an additive found on food labels under the code E475. Its widespread use, from confectionery to dietary and baby food, is due to the high level of safety for human health. Interestingly, the simplest variety of this substance is available to everyone at home - the vegetable oil remaining after frying consists of a combination of polyglycerides and fatty acids. The additive is one of the most inexpensive and popular for production, it is widely used in any category of products, from simple and cheap to elite delicacies.
Synthesis of matter, its chemical properties
There is no question of any naturalness of the additive - it is mined in laboratory conditions and in wildlife it does not meets. The preparation of the E475 component occurs during the condensation of glycerol, which is then subjected to transesterification with fatty acids: oleic, stearic, or others. If the mixture has a low content of glycerin, it is in a liquid, oily state. If the amount of glycerol is increased during the synthesis process, the resulting additive becomes solid and crumbles easily. In the future, it is processed into powder, however, in the food industry, a powdered substance is used infrequently, preferring the liquid version.
The appearance of the additive has a transparent texture, if it is an oil, and a light yellow, ocher, amber color. In the form of a hard wax, the substance becomes more turbid and acquires a characteristic brown color.
The odor of the additive is most often absent, or there may be a slight aroma of the original substances. It has a neutral, slightly oily taste.
The substance does not dissolve in cold water, but when the water temperature is above 35-40 degrees Celsius, the process of dissolution may begin. It also dissolves poorly in oils, unlike alcohols - there will be no problems with dissolving E475 in them. Subject to interaction with alkalis and hydrogen.
One of the reasons for the popularity of the additive in food production is its resistance to high temperatures. Due to this property, the products do not burn during the cooking process.
As a stabilizer, polyglyceride fatty acid esters help to improve the structure and nutritional properties of the product, to give them stability and immutability. They are also used as emulsifiers in the process of mixing components of different structure.
In addition, the additive reduces the oxidizability of the product, protects it from weathering, for example, butter - from the formation of a brown crust on the surface.
Application in food and other industries
The main technological method of adding an additive to cooked food is mixing it with melted fat or fatty cream at a temperature of 60-65 degrees Celsius. The resulting substance is subjected to emulsification for 10-15 minutes, after which it can be added to the feedstock in accordance with the prescription.
Food additive E475 can be found in the following products:
- plant-based dairy substitutes;
- emulsified liqueurs ;
- sugary confectionery (eg marshmallow or caramel);
- mayonnaise, mixtures for making ice cream, margarine.
The main purpose of the substance in the listed paragraphs is to prevent the breakdown of the fat and water components, to stabilize the structure.
In the production of bread and flour products, an additive is added to flour - this helps to compact the structure, but at the same time it remains airy and voids do not appear in it.
E475 is added to oils and cooking oils as an anti-foaming agent to prevent splattering.
In addition, polyglyceride fatty acid esters can be used in food coloring, various weight loss formulas, convenience foods, seasonings, spices, and dry flavored beverage bases.
The property of retaining moisture opened the way for the additive to the cosmetic industry: in the process of its interaction with alkalis, raw materials for the production of soap are obtained. It is also used in the manufacture of moisturizers, hair masks and lip balms, often in place of petroleum jelly. In this case, manufacturers sometimes mislead the consumer by labeling E475 on the label as vegetable lanolin. However, the latter is a wax that is extracted from sheep's wool and has several other skin-friendly properties. Additive E475, being essentially a fat, creates an invisible film on the skin that temporarily retains moisture and only creates a feeling of hydration.
Other industrial uses are the manufacture of fertilizers and soil preparations, and the manufacture of technical solvents.
Requirements for the packaging of the substance
The main condition is that the container in which the additive is located must have a polyethylene lining, and only from food grade polyethylene.
Most often it is packed in cardboard boxes, kraft paper bags. Less often - in polyethylene barrels.
Impact on human health
Scientists have no information about the usefulness of polyglyceride esters and fatty acids for the human body. Usually, when it comes to synthetic food additives, the world community comes to a compromise: it is enough that the substance is not harmful, and then both manufacturers and consumers can evaluate the main advantages of its use.
The daily norm of polyglyceride and fatty acid esters allowed for consumption by an adult is no more than 25 mg per 1 kilogram of body weight.
In almost all countries in the world, the stabilizer and emulsifier E475 is approved for use. The only danger that accompanies the use of products with this substance in the composition is an increase in their calorie content, since it has a fatty structure. For this reason, people with overweight, diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts and liver should not get carried away with food with the code E475.
Human and experimental animal studies have not shown any oncogenic, toxic, allergic or mutagenic properties of the substance. There is also no information on the relationship between the use of the supplement and the appearance of infertility. In contact with the skin, the additive does not cause any negative reactions or allergic symptoms.
Food additive E475, although it has an artificial, synthetic origin, is today considered one of the most harmless. Due to the properties of emulsification, stabilization and moisture retention, the substance is widely used in food products, it is found in cosmetics as a moisturizing component. Its relative cheapness and effectiveness, as well as the absence of a negative impact on the human body and the environment, are the factors due to which the use of this food additive is allowed in Ukraine, Russia, the USA, and the countries of the European Union. Nevertheless, research on the properties and consequences of substance use continues today.