TBHQ is a commonly used food preservative and one in which raises red flags for many people. We have been warning our clients and followers about the chemical food additive TBHQ* for many years. Now another scientific study has linked TBHQ with yet another adverse outcome–an increase in allergic reactions. This chemical of concern makes an appearance in numerous processed foods in your grocery store. Unfortunately, TBHQ may not be labeled on the processed foods at your local grocery store (though you should always read the ingredients labels). Also bad news is that this food additive is commonly used in restaurant food–both conventional and fast food restaurants–and consumers are often left in the dark as to what additives are in their food at restaurants. It you want to avoid it entirely, make your own meals and snacks using fresh, whole ingredients. Watch our blog for upcoming amazing recipes!
- An additive used in foods such as cooking oils, crackers and waffles could be behind an increase in the rise in food allergies, according to an article by Agence France-Presse.
- Researchers at Michigan State University found that the additive tert-butylhydroquinone, or tBHQ, lowered the ability of T cells to fight against pathogens. This makes people more susceptible to allergic reactions to eggs, milk, nuts and shellfish.
- Consumers aren’t often aware of the additive’s presence in a product because it isn’t listed on food labels.
An estimated 8% of American children suffer from allergies to food, and national health agencies have reported that this number is growing. With so many allergy sufferers, there is a large consumer market that avoids food with common ingredients, like dairy, soy and gluten.
While the free-from foods category starts to address these challenges, it doesn’t stop the problem. The Food Allergy Science Initiative is calling for the food and beverage industry to fund research to look at new diagnostic treatments for food allergies, which could expand the variety of food products allergy suffers are able to safely consume.
In a report from Packaged Facts, the company identified five groups that avoid certain foods and ingredients, leading with those who have allergies and intolerances. The report noted that while manufacturers would like to avoid the costs of reformulations and new packaging, they need to address consumer concerns on allergens. If there is a problematic additive, it makes sense for manufacturers to take a close look and consider new product formulations.
*Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1972, tBHQ is a preservative in many foods, such as cooking oil, nuts, crackers, waffles and breads. Often tBHQ is not listed on the label.