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Ragazza asked in HealthDiet & Fitness · 1 decade ago

Why is E524 (sodium hydroxide) sometimes considered harmful as a food additive? It is banned in Australia?

Not looking for answers like "because all E numbers are bad" but something more specific. I've seen that it could cause allergic reactions and poisoning - what kind of effects would it have? Is it safe during pregnancy? It is used as an additive in pretzels, I believe for the glazing. Please also don't answer that it's the same as caustic soda because I'm looking for risks and side effects of the quantity used then it's a food additive. Thanks!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Although there are no known side effects of the use of sodium hydroxide in small amounts, in higher amounts it can be very harmful if consumed. This is probably why Australia has banned it as an additive. Australia has some of the strictest laws and rules when it comes to additives in food, moreso than the US.

    E524 is used to counteract acidity, because it is a strong alkali. Some uses include the industrial peeling of fruit, and is used blacken olives.

    sodium hydroxide poisoning:

    http://www.drugs.com/enc/sodium-hydroxide-poisonin...

    uses for sodium hydroxide in food.

    http://www.food-info.net/uk/e/e524.htm

    I can imagine that if there is no source of acidity, then the solution wouldnt neutralize and would be too alkaline making it harmful, however I don't know the amount it would take.

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  • 3 years ago

    Sodium Hydroxide In Food

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  • 5 years ago

    Well if you want to ignore that it is caustic soda then it is your problem. Because IT IS caustic soda, it s just the generic alternative name, the same that it is used as a detergent. Besides being used in pretzels it is also used to clean pipes, oils, copper sheet treatment, color removal, chemical peeling, obtaining aluminium, production of chemical and plastic materials.

    Consider yourself lucky that your country CARES about the health of the people. These idiots worldwide would give us rat poison if they could, just to add color to food.

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