Wednesday, November 22, 2006

EDTA: Part 1

Unwanted metals often find their way into food from the soil and from machinery during harveting and processing. Often these metals, such as copper, iron and nickel, then degrade the food stuffs by catalyzing the oxidation of the fats in the food. A class of food additives known as sequestrants can be added to food. The additive reacts with trace metals in foods, forming tightly bound complexes (sequestered - withdrew from use), thereby preventing the decompostion of the food.

The sodium and calcium salts of EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) are common sequestrants in many kinds of foods and beverages.

EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). The EDTA molecule can bind to metal ions by forming six bonds to it - two from nitrogen atoms in amino groups and four from oxygen atoms in carboxyl groups.

Lead poisoning is hence treated with EDTA, but of course the downside of it is calcium ions and other essential metal ions are drained as well.

To be continued...


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