Black Mould and Citric Acid
- Jul 03, 2018
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Recently I was doing some competitive research on tomato puree, tomato sauce and the like because we started importing a lovely pasta from Italy. The sauce from Sapori Antichi sausa d’ nunna is 99.5% tomatoes and 0.5% sea salt. There are not any artificial additives and it is organic and from of genetically modified products. Many other standard retail brands I looked at appeared ‘natural’ until you read the ingredients. Many had citric acid, which I assumed, as tomatoes are acidic, make sense. Then I realised that some were using citric acid as an additive. So what is citric acid . Most mass-produced foods use mass-produced food products. The obvious example is fructose or high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetening agent.
Citric acid is an additive used in food for over 100 years as a preservative and is used to prevent botulism. It is found in many ‘everyday’ food items like fizzy drinks, ice cream, cheeses, canned goods, baby foods (to name a few). Further developed in a lab by Pfizer, citric acid can be created from black mould (aspergillus niger). This black mould is the stuff we try and get rid off in our homes, as it can cause sickness or death if inhaled. This artificial production of citric acid is less expensive than the other types produced from (for example) pineapples or lemons.
So black mould… often derived from corn starch. The cheapest and most widely available corn is genetically modified. Therefore, there is a high probability that the citric acid is being harvested from genetically modified corn starch. The things in our food that we don’t know. I’m not suggesting that this is a good or bad practice, but now that we know, now that we are informed, we can make choices about the food our families consume.