That's right. Gas. A form of butane lurks in some of your favorite snack foods and quick eats - the same chemical that's used in the stabilization process of explosive compounds.
TBHQ is short for Tertiary Butylhydroquinone. When used as an additive ingredient in some foods, TBHQ fights food odors and foul tastes, and basically keeps food on the shelf longer. Think about it - you buy a box of tasty snack crackers, and weeks later, they still taste the same as when you first opened the box. It's food - at its natural state, it doesn't last that long.
Foods most commonly known for containing TBHQ include crispy snacks and many fast food items, but TBHQ is also found outside of meals and snacks. Infant skincare products, varnish, lacquers and resins commonly contain TBHQ.
Natural News writer Shona Botes raises quite the question: The FDA says up to .02 percent of the total oils in food to be TBHQ is safe, but why would a "safe" additive need to be limited to such a small amount?
Maybe we should avoid TBHQ in its entirety, considering the risks of consuming more than the allowed dose. According to Botes, eating between one and four grams of TBHQ can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and vomiting.
Many foods that have TBHQ in their ingredients are often part of children's diets, like snack crackers, french fries and chicken tenders. When kids are exposed to high doses of TBHQ, they are more likely to have hyperactivity, asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis, ADHD and restlessness.
Studies of TBHQ in labs showed prolonged TBHQ consumption caused more serious conditions like cancerous precursors, DNA damage and altered estrogen levels in women.
Considering the risks of consuming TBHQ, maybe the FDA should reconsider it's .02 percent allowance.
The food additive TBHQ, which is the chemical 2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,4-benzenediol (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number 1948-33-0), also known as tertiary butylhydroquinone, may be safely used in food in accordance with the following prescribed conditions:
(a) The food additive has a melting point of 126.5 deg. C-128.5 deg. C.
(b) It is used as an antioxidant alone or in combination with BHA and/or BHT.
(c) The total antioxidant content of a food containing the additive will not exceed 0.02 percent of the oil or fat content of the food, including the essential (volatile) oil content of the food.
The antioxidant comes from petroleum, and when the body takes enough in, TBHQ can be toxic.
Ensuring safety is easily done by avoiding the additive. Check the boxes of your favorite snack crackers, like Town House crackers from Keebler, Sunshine, Kellogg's and Frito-Lay to make sure they're free of TBHQ.