Food Additives!

Food Additives:  What ARE We Eating?

Who knew that learning about food additives could be so fun? In this lesson, students were made more aware of what they eat and why, as we explored a variety of food additives prevalent in the modern diet of processed foods. We talked about all of the many things that food additives can be used for, from food coloring, to artificial and natural flavors, to additives that change food texture and thickness.

We made observations on a few experiments using food additives, saw how lemon juice can keep apples looking fresh even after they’re cut, and used a seaweed extract that is used as a food thickener to make a rubbery substance, just by mixing it with a little water.  We also examined lecithin’s emulsifying capabilities, and found magnetic proof that certain breakfast cereals really DO contain small amounts of iron, a metal that is essential for our health. One of our favorite activities was crushing up breakfast cereal fortified with iron and watching it respond to a magnet!

Additional Information:

The following YouTube video demonstrates how a variation of the cereal experiment can be performed at home.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRK15XSqtAw

Author

PDugger

Phillip has a BS and MS in Biology from Western Washington University, and is currently earning a PhD in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. His research interests are in tropical rainforest ecology and animal-plant interactions. He will be doing his doctoral dissertation research on tropical seed dispersal ecology in the montane rainforests of Rwanda. Phillip has taught though various adjunct positions at several colleges in New England, teaching biology, ecology, earth science, environmental science, and general science at Babson College, North Shore Community College, Wheelock College, Merrimack College, and Mount Ida College.

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