What are Emulsifiers and are they harmful?
First of all, what is an emulsifier?
Have you ever noticed those random numbers or letters in the ingredients list of some of your prepackaged and processed foods? These are food additives like preservatives, stabilisers, artificial flavours, sweeteners and emulsifiers which are used to preserve flavour or enhance taste, appearance and other sensory qualities of particular products.
Emulsifiers are added to support the shelf life and improve product quality by binding ingredients such as oil and water. This produces a more uniform texture and appearance and reduces the overall oiliness and stickiness of products. Emulsifiers can be artificially man-made or naturally occurring (like soybeans or corn which are used to make lecithin).
Why don’t Fodbods include emulsifiers in their products?
Whilst Food Standards Australia and New Zealand have deemed emulsifiers as safe (especially those that are naturally derived), there is some preliminary research to suggest that regular consumption can impact gut health by lowering bacteria diversity (essentially upsetting our friendly gut bugs). Other studies also suggest that certain types of emulsifiers can drive or amplify gastrointestinal inflammation.
Given we’re all about living our best lives here at Fodbods, no risks are taken when it comes to causing tummy aches, bloating or digestive issues. Our products are all thoroughly researched and developed with the help of dietitians to ensure they are of the best quality. That means you won’t find any additives, preservatives or emulsifiers in any of our products - just natural wholefood ingredients that we all know and love.
What does this mean for Fodbods?
Because of this, our bars in particular may sometimes get a little oily, especially if left in a warm environment (like the car). Similar to a jar of natural peanut butter, you will often find an oily layer on the surface however if you opt for the more processed version, the texture will be quite smooth and uniform. It’s important to note that the oil in our bars is healthy (unsaturated) fat and obviously fine to consume although some of our friends prefer to wipe it off before enjoying.
We acknowledge that emulsifiers when used in the appropriate circumstances, can play an important role in our food products. However, to minimise digestive discomfort, we encourage those with tummy troubles to read food labels, avoid highly processed foods and when in doubt, remember that Fodbods are here to make your life easier!