For the sales staff, this preparation is a technical victory, which is a boon to the people who prepare the banquet, otherwise they will waste unsold food. There is another benefit: NatureSeal is a processing aid, not an ingredient, so there is no need to indicate it on the label, and there is no obligation to tell consumers that their “fresh” fruit salad is a few weeks ago.

Somehow, I couldn’t share the enthusiasm of the salesman. Have I ever eaten the “fresh” fruit salad processed in this way? Maybe I bought the bathtub during the breakfast buffet at the station platform or hotel? I suddenly realized that although I never deliberately eat ingredients I don’t know, I You may have eaten many of the “magic products” shown here. In recent years, they have been slowly and skillfully introduced into the food that many of us eat every day-in canteens, cafeterias, bars, hotels, restaurants and takeaway shops.
You may find it too easy to resist the temptation of a turkey drummer, a light meal, a “fruit” drink, or a loaf of bread. You might check the E number on the label and strange-sounding ingredients to resist the most obvious form of processed food. However, you will still find it difficult to avoid 6000 kinds of food additives—flavors, polishes, improvers, bleaches, etc.—that are routinely used behind the scenes of contemporary food production. High-end prosciutto and sausages, “handmade” sourdough bread, “traditional” super-ripe cheddar cheese, those luxurious Belgian chocolates, those specialty coffees and magical probiotic drinks, those apparently harmless bottled cooking oils: many and food manufacturing The relationship is much closer than we appreciate.

When you tried to dig deeper, you came across a wall of secrets. For at least the past ten years, large manufacturing companies have kept a low profile, using trade secrets as their creed, claiming that they cannot disclose their formulas due to competition. Instead, they let retailers answer any questions raised by reporters or consumers. In turn, retailers overwhelm you with excess, mostly irrelevant materials. The most persistent inquirer may receive a ready-made customer response from the company’s headquarters, a bland, unspecific guarantee, such as: “Every ingredient of this product meets quality assurance standards, EU regulations, and is based on the most stringent international standards. Additional agreements required, as well as our own demanding specifications.”
I spent years knocking on doors from door to door and knowing very little about contemporary food production, which frustrated me. Everything that happens on the farm and in the wild has been fairly well regulated and handled transparently. The slaughterhouse is subject to regular inspections, and occasionally undercover reporters from animal welfare organizations carry cameras for inspections. Instead, I’m increasingly worried that we don’t know much about the food in boxes, cartons, and bottles on supermarket shelves—the foods have been processed in some way to make them more convenient to eat.

In the end, the contacts within the industry provided me with a cover that gave me unprecedented access to chemical suppliers, as well as the user-specific area of ​​the company’s website, which is a private space for the chemical industry to tell manufacturers how to design our food. Even though I have 25 years of experience in food chain investigations, this is an eye-opener for me.

Anything packed in a box, tin box, bag, carton, or bottle must have a label. The contents are listed above. Many of us have become experts in reading these labels. But many additives and ingredients that were once considered fake and unfathomable have now quietly disappeared. Does this mean that their content has improved? In some cases, yes, but there is another explanation. In the past few years, the food industry has embarked on an initiative called “Clean Labels”, with the goal of removing the most conspicuous industrial raw materials and additives and replacing them with milder-sounding substitutes. Some companies have reformulated their product formulas in a sincere and sincere manner, replacing ingredients with alternatives with fewer problems. Others do not believe that they can pass the cost on to retailers and consumers, and instead use a series of novel and cheaper substances to make them show a glamorous face to the public.