Some Selected Food Components Explained

The food industry is vast and there are numerous components that are used in the foods that we eat on a daily basis. Knowing what is contained in foods that we eat is particularly important if we are ever to eat healthy and avoid those foods that contain components that are harmful to our health. Above all some terms used in the food industry might be intimidating for many people making it difficult to sift through what is good for one’s health and what is not. The following are some terms and components used in the manufacture of many of the foods that we eat daily.


Shrouded in controversy tartrazine is a food colorant which gives the color yellow. Most food manufacturers now print on their packages a notice that they do not use tartrazine in the manufacture of their food out of much public debate on the matter. It has been widely perceived that the colorant is harmful to health. In fact it has been associated with allergies and many individuals suffering some irritation after consumption of food containing tartrazine.

Some manufacturers including those of potato crisps the main users of the colorant still insist that tartrazine has no harmful effects to health as widely perceived by the public. They however admit that some individuals have suffered adverse reactions after consuming the colorant albeit in very small numbers such as ten out of every 10000. It has particularly been accused of being responsible for hyperactive kids. Foods that contain tartrazine include but are not limited to skim milk, yogurt, candy, tang, pastas amongst many others.


Commonly yet incorrectly known as salt, sodium is a chemical element. Salt has only 33 percent sodium and is actually sodium chloride. It is however true that salt contains the highest levels of sodium we consume of a daily basis considering that a teaspoon of salt has up to 2000mg of sodium. According to the AHA we only need 1300mg of sodium per day. It is clear that many adult over consume sodium daily up to as much as 5300mg.

Sodium is strongly linked to high blood pressure or hypertension. Doctors have placed a very close association between high blood pressure and salt consumption. Individuals are encouraged to remain within the recommended daily consumption levels to avoid developing high blood pressure. Hypertension patients are as a result recommended to consume little to no salt as it has the effect of retaining water in the body which in turn increases blood pressure. Most food packages show a food label table which indicates amongst other things the amount of sodium contained.


Found in all foods that are derived from plants, fiber is actually a structural part of any plant. Vegetables, grains, fruits and legumes all contain fiber. It is amazing to know that our bodies cannot digest fiber. At the same time our bodies need the fiber for health reasons. Fibers taken adequately will help our bodies keep away diabetes, certain cancers and even heart disease. Fibers are understood to fall into two categories namely water-soluble and and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is required by our intestine to soften and enlarge the stool increasing bowel movement. Soluble fiber increases glucose tolerance hence its important role in preventing diabetes. Eating fruits and veggies such as avocados, apples and oranges is beneficial as shown asparagus nutrition facts.