How do food scientist figure out which chemicals are edible?

113 viewsChemistryOther

With all engineered foods such as Doritos, there are a lot of chemicals in the ingredients lists that are artificial. How do food scientists know which chemicals are edible and how they taste?

In: Chemistry

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

1. Doritos aren’t “engineered”

2. Everything on earth that has a physical form is a chemical or made up of chemicals. Air? Chemicals. An organic apple? Chemicals.

3. Here are the list of the ingredients in Doritos (Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, And/or Sunflower Oil), Maltodextrin (Made From Corn), Salt, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Monosodium Glutamate, Buttermilk, Romano Cheese (Part-skim Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey Protein Concentrate, Onion Powder, Corn Flour, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Dextrose, Tomato Powder, Lactose, Spices, Artificial Color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, And Red 40), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Skim Milk, Red And Green Bell Pepper Powder, Disodium Inosinate, And Disodium Guanylate.

The only artificial parts are some colors and flavors, a tiny part of the overall product.

As for how we know if they are edible, it’s the same way we know if anything is edible, they have been tested extensively. First in a lab, then in animals, then in people.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just because the chemicals are manufactured doesnt mean the chemicals dont exist in nature.

Most artifical flavouring is just the molecule that gives the food its taste but made in a lab. If it wasnt edible (in reasonable quantitites) the food also wouldnt be edible.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In most cases, they know things are edible because they isolated them from things we already knew were edible.

For example, “monosodium glutamate” sounds hella sketchy when you hear its chemical formula. But this is the molecule that makes soy sauce, parmesan cheese, and nutritional yeast have a “savory” flavor. We already knew it was edible because humans have been eating these things for ages; we just isolated that this one specific chemical was edible.

Other forms of testing include things like animal “LD50” tests: the test for what dosage is lethal in 50% of recipients. Things like this are what factor into safety limits of chemical additives. Generally, they’ll look for the amount that starts to have toxic symptoms, and then set the limit hundreds or thousands of times smaller than that. That way even if a silly person eats a huge amount of stuff that contains it, it will be unlikely to cause them meaningful harm.