Saturday, December 25, 2010

Better eating through chemistry? NOT!

doesn't that look tasty?

I had some "bake and eat" cinnamon buns today. Honor demanded it. I had no choice. Luckily, I was able to refuse the frosting. Unfortunately, I'd read the ingredients:

Enriched Flour - bleached: wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfur, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid. Water. Sugar. Dextrose (sugar, again). Palm Oil. Wheat Starch. High Fructose Corn Syrup (more sugar). Baking Powder (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate). Soybean Oil. Whey. Salt. Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (Trans fat). Corn starch. Cinnamon. Vital Wheat Gluten. Corn Syrup Solids. Monoglycerides. DATEM (Diacetyl Tartaric (Acid) Ester of Monoglyceride). Sodium Alginate. Xanthan Gum. Natural and Artificial Flavor. Preservatives: potassium sorbate, citric acid, TBHQ (Tertiary ButylHydroQuinone). Polysorbate 60. Yellow 5 (tartrazine). Red 40 - quite a mouthful (*(2-naphthalenesulfonic acid, 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-, disodium salt, and disodium 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-2-naphthalenesulfonate)*) Generally made from petroleum!. Artificial Color. There's a color more artificial than Red 40?


Whatever happened to unbleached flour, milk, butter, salt, cane sugar, cinnamon, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, baking soda, vanilla, cornstarch - no aluminum)? Or the slower yet even more natural method: unbleached flour, yeast, milk, butter, salt, vanilla, cane sugar, cinnamon?

Interestingly, the Red 40 was supposedly a substitute for natural amaranth. It can also be made from coal tar instead of petroleum. Nice to have options, isn't it?

Stuff like this really makes me wonder what our species is doing to itself with all this stuff. Does anyone taste these chemicals in combination or just one by one? Does combining them change their physiological effect?

Oh, and the worst part. The biscuit was tough, and there was (surpise!) a chemical aftertaste. The cinnamon didn't rise from the bun to tickle your nose. You couldn't taste the butter, because there wasn't any (I think - it's a long list).

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