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After all, can ascorbic acid cause cancer? Experts say

After all, can ascorbic acid cause cancer? Experts say

Operation Flesh, triggered by the Federal Police last Friday (17) highlighted some irregularities committed by large refrigerators. In addition to reporting system failures that could compromise food quality, the action also raised a lot of questions for consumers about the source of consumed meat.

One of the issues that most caused repercussions was a complaint made by the coordinator of the operation, delegate Maurício Moscadi Grillo, that there were companies that used ascorbic acid to make spoiled meat. The delegate also said that carcinogens were used to modify food. These statements have led many people to believe that ascorbic acid is a substance with carcinogenic potential.

Ascorbic acid is good for health?

According to gastroenterologist and coloproctologist Perry Ribeiro, ascorbic acid is a present substance in fruits and vegetables such as orange, acerola, kiwi and guava, and vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. And it has great antioxidant properties. "Nutritionally it does very well for health," he says.

Is there a reason for people to worry about ascorbic acid in meat?

No. According to Professor Marcos Antônio Trindade, from the Department of Food Engineering of USP of Pirassununga, ascorbic acid is an antioxidant used in processed meats such as ham, turkey breast and sausage. It has the function of avoiding that the meat has a brown coloration. "The use of ascorbic acid in processed meats is allowed by Anvisa, because it prevents the oxidation of fat that makes the food taste and rancid," says Professor Trindade, USP's Department of Food Engineering of Pirassununga "

" Ascorbic acid is an excellent product that guarantees the shelf life of the product, protecting it against bacteria and fungi that can make food unfit for consumption. "

Therefore, it is important to say that , if ascorbic acid is used in a spoiled meat and this meat is consumed, the fungi and bacteria present in the meat, not ascorbic acid, will be bad for health.

It is important to remember that ascorbic acid only is used in processed meats such as ham and turkey breast.

Sorbic acid

In addition to ascorbic acid (vitamin C), another component used to make rotten meats has appeared: sorbic acid. According to Professor Sérgio Pflanzer, professor of the Faculty of Food Engineering at Unicamp, it is not possible to make up the deterioration and to avoid microbial development. "There is no way to disguise the color, mucus and smell of spoiled meat."

The use of sorbic acid is permitted only in certain areas of the meat, for example on the salami cap and never in the filling. Normative Instruction No. 51 of 2006, which regulates the use of preservatives in meat, states that the preservative can only be used in a proportion up to 0.02 g per 100 g of meat.

Can Seric Acid be harmful to health?

Sodium Acid leaves the medium more acidic and prevents deterioration in large quantities. "As the amount allowed by Anvisa is very small, there is no risk of side effects. In large quantities it can attack the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting and sensitivity in the digestive tract, but only if it is used in large quantities," ends

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