Additive Free Tip: Are you getting more than you bargained for in your potato chips?
Everyone loves those crunchy, flavoursome snacks but do you know what you are eating when you choose the flavoured varieties?
Here are the ingredients in a popular brand and flavour of chips. Most other brands and flavours are very similar. This company claims to use all natural ingredients:
POTATO, SUNFLOWER OIL, VEGETABLE OIL, SUGAR, SALT, FLAVOUR ENHANCERS (621, 627, 631), MALTODEXTRIN, DEXTRIN, WHEAT FLOUR, HYDROLYSED VEGETABLE PROTEIN, YEAST EXTRACT, FLAVOURS, SPICES (BLACK PEPPER, PAPRIKA, TURMERIC), MODIFIES STARCH (1450), CHICKEN FAT, HONEY POWDER, ONION POWDER, SOY SAUCE POWDER (WHEAT), GARLIC POWDER, FOOD ACID (330), NATURAL COLOUR (CARAMEL).
Flavour enhancers (621, 627, 631), HVP and yeast extract – MSG and its relatives. Effects include: allergic reactions, heart palpitations, irritability, dizziness, headache, depression, migraine, behavioural problems, nausea, tingling and numbness, breathing difficulty in asthmatics, swelling of lips and tongue. Prohibited in foods for infants.
Natural caramel colour – comes in I, II, III, IV and V. This doesn’t say which one is used. I is considered safest but can still cause gastrointestinal problems. The other ones can cause more issues such as asthma, liver issues and gastrointestinal problems. They are all prohibited in foods for infants.
Many brand just list flavours or natural flavours which could be anything and are not guaranteed to be safe.
If you really want to eat chips (and we all do sometimes!) always choose the plain salt flavour where the ingredients are usually potato, some form of vegetable oil and salt. The vegetable/sunflower/canola oils are still extremely harmful especially as they would have been used for cooking at high temperatures, making them toxic (and are likely to contain unlisted antioxidants) but this is a better choice than the flavoured varieties if you are going to eat chips.
Of course, you can make your own at home using potato or sweet potato, a vegetable peeler or slicer and some coconut oil for frying.. Yummy!