Doritos – tortilla style corn chips, a name that conjures up parties, teenagers, children’s lunch boxes, hunger fillers, nice salty taste, interesting shapes, crunchy, etc. There are many different varieties of Doritos so everyone can choose their favourite one and buy a small packet to eat at lunch time or a much larger packet to share with friends and family members. Yum yum – but at a health cost that is a much too high to pay, as people ingest these many colourings, flavourings and chemicals into their precious bodies, without giving the health aspect a second thought. Scary stuff indeed! The latest saying on Doritos is that ‘you are what you eat’ – that is so true as the detrimental effect of these added ‘E’s is also ‘you are what you eat’. They also say ‘ Turn everyday experiences into ‘full on’ experiences with Doritos’ . This picture with the smiling faces is on the Doritos facebook page which will appeal to many people, especially the teenage market.
Beautiful eye-catching packet but beware of what is inside this colourful and modern packaging:
Maize, refined vegetable oil (palm fruit & maize germ) with TBHQ, salt, sugar, maltodextrin, dextrose, flavouring [onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper (irradiated)], MSG [flavour enhancer (E621)], vegetable oil (sunflower seed), acidity regulators (E330, E262), hydrolysed vegetable protein (soya), anticaking agent (E551), colourants (E150(c), E124). ALLERGENS: Contains soya.
Maize – the main ingredient in Doritos chips:
South Africa is the only country in the world which has allowed the main staple of its diet, Maize, to be genetically modified. Around 77% of maize production in South Africa is genetically modified. Elsewhere in the world GM maize is grown primarily for the global livestock sector. A new French Study conducted on the long-term health impacts of genetically modified (GM) maize in Rats has found that GM maize poses a serious health risk including cancer and serious impacts on liver and kidney functioning. Russia has now banned GM Maize because of this study. Consumers in South Africa have recently won a hard-earned victory with regard to the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods. According to the draft amendments, all locally produced and imported food containing 5% or more GM ingredients or components must be labelled, which is really good news.
Maltodextrin is an additive for many foods. Small amounts of maltodextrin are also used in body building supplements and weight gain powders. The reason for this is that it is easily digested and helps in the distribution and absorption throughout the body. However, there are some side effects of maltodextrin that should be taken into account by potential users. Although no scientific proof has been found, research has shown that over use-of food products that contain maltodextrin can produce the following side effects. Abdominal bloating and flatulence can be experienced; other problems relating to digestion can also become a problem such as constipation and diarrhea.
Dextrose is high in carbohydrates, as a 50 g serving contains 50 g of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy, so dextrose can be a good food supplement for athletes or other active individuals. Dextrose is higher in carbohydrates than even other carbohydrate-rich foods, such as spaghetti, which contains 34 g of carbohydrates per 50 g serving.
Irradiated black pepper – Food irradiation is the process of treating food with a specific dosage of ionizing radiation. This treatment slows or halts spoilage by retarding enzymatic action or destroying micro-organisms and it can also inactivate food-borne pathogenic organisms (reducing the risk of food borne illness). Further applications include sprout inhibition, delay of ripening, increase of juice yield, and improvement of re-hydration. (Irradiation is also used to prevent the spread of invasive insect species that could be associated with fresh produce e.g. fruit fly pests)’ (Wikipedia). Irradiated fruits and vegetables benefit the packer and grocer, not the farmer or consumer. The consumer receives an inferior product that appears fresh, but has depleted vitamins and enzymes.
E621 – MSG Flavour enhancer
Sodium salt from glutamic acid (E620), a natural amino acid (building block of protein). Commercially prepared from molasses by bacterial fermentation. Added to any savoury processed protein food. In cigarettes and animal food. In over 10,000 foods in USA. Flavour enhancer derived from the fermentation of molasses, salt substitute; adverse effects appear in some asthmatic people, should not be permitted in foods for infants and young children as it could damage the nervous system. Typical products are canned vegetables, canned tuna, dressings, many frozen foods. To be avoided. It could kill nerve cells, resulting in diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Pregnant women, children, hypoglycemic, elderly and those with heart disease are at risk from reactions.
E330 – Citric acid
Food acid, naturally derived from citrus fruit, although commercial synthesis is by fermentation of molasses. It is used in food as an antioxidant as well as enhancing the effect of other antioxidants, and also as an acidity regulator. Present in virtually all plants, it was first isolated in 1784 from lemon juice, by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and has been used as a food additive for over 100 years. Used in biscuits, canned fish, cheese and processed cheese products, infant formulas, cake and soup mixes, rye bread, soft drinks, fermented meat products. Damages tooth enamel. Most citric acid is produced from corn – manufacturers do not always take out the protein which can be hydrolyzed and create MSG (621) causing reactions in MSG-sensitive people.
E262 – Sodium Acetate and Anydrous, Sodium Diacetate
i) Sodium Acetate – The sodium salt of acetic acid, E260. Acts as a buffer in foods. Technical grade sodium acetate is used as a mordant in dyeing processes, as buffers in petroleum production, and for kidney dialysis processes. In plastic manufacturing it is used as a retarder for some elastomers. Typical products include bouillons. May irritate the skin, harmful if ingested.
(ii) Sodium hydrogen acetate (sodium diacetate) – A vinegar used as a mould inhibitor in snack foods and bread, as a flavour enhancer in breads, cakes, cheese and snack food. Technical grade sodium hydrogen acetate is used as a buffer in petroleum production. Typical products include bread, crisps and other snack foods, cheese, cakes.
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is a flavour enhancer used in many processed foods and is produced by boiling foods such as soy, corn, or wheat in hydrochloric acid and then neutralizing the solution with sodium hydroxide. The acid breaks down the protein in vegetables into their component amino acids. One of the amino acids in the dark-coloured liquid that’s left is glutamic acid. Consumers are more familiar with glutamic acid in the form of its sodium salt — Monosodium glutamate, or MSG.
E551 – Silicon dioxide
From sand or Quartz. No adverse effects are known in food use. Artificial sweetener, anti-caking agent, thickener and stabiliser in beer, confectionary, sausages, dried milk – huge range of foods
E150 – Plain caramel
Dark brown colour made from sucrose in the presence of ammonia, ammonium sulphate, sulphur dioxide or sodium hydroxide. The types of caramel colour available include plain (spirit) caramel (prepared by controlled heat treatment of carbohydrates with or without an acid or base), caustic sulphite caramel (produced by heat treatment of carbohydrates with sulphur containing compounds), ammonia caramel (heat treatment in the presence of ammonia) and sulphite ammonia caramel. The HACSG* recommends to avoid it as it can cause hyperactivity. Some caramels may damage genes, slow down growth, cause enlargement of the intestines and kidneys and may destroy vitamin B. It can be manufactured without ammonia. Used in oyster, soy, fruit and canned sauces, beer, whiskey, biscuits, pickles, cakes, doughnuts, flour products, chocolate products, fizzy drinks, beer, wine, sweets, crisps, bread, pates, ice cream, sauces, pickles, preserves, vegetable protein and similar meat substitutes.
E124 – Ponceau 4R, Cochineal Red A, Brilliant Scarlet 4R
Artificial red dye, synthetic coal tar and azo dye, carcinogen in animals, can produce bad reactions in asthmatics and people allergic to aspirin; 1 in 10,000 people are allergic to 124. Typical products include packet desert mixes, toppings, tinned fruit, soups, salami. Banned in Canada, Norway, USA (in 1976 for cancer causing agents). Restricted in Sweden.
A healthier alternative would be to make your own crunchy snacks with a dehydrator like flaxseed crackers, home made cookies and other snacks that are free of additives, colourants and preservatives.
To re-cap – Doritos says it very well – “You are what you eat”