At first glance, one might assume that ammonia hydroxide is a dangerous or even toxic chemical, but the fact is that it’s one of the most commonly used food processing preservatives to date. This helpful compound allows manufacturers to ward off against bacteria and pathogens that may cause food-borne illness, which is something we can all benefit from. If you’re interested in learning more about the use of ammonia hydroxide in the food processing industry, keep reading and we’ll explain just what exactly it is and what it does.
You might be surprised to hear that ammonia hydroxide was first approved for use in foods by the FDA back in 1974. Before hastily approving this compound, they performed an extensive series of tests to determine whether or not it was safe for consumption and overall use by the public. What they found was that ammonia hydroxide is a completely safe and effective way to lower the risk of food-borne illness when used under the right circumstances. As a result, dozens if not hundreds of food manufacturers and processors begin using it to help preserve their meats and foods. Still today, it’s one of the more commonly uses preservatives found in food.
Most people associate ammonia as a harsh cleaning chemical that’s found in things like Windex and furniture polishes. While it’s certainly one of the key ingredients in such products, it’s also a naturally-occurring element that’s in the water we drink and the air we breathe. As long as you consume ammonia is small amounts, it’s not going to pose a risk to your health. So, the next time you see ammonia listed as an ingredient in something you eat, relax and rest assured knowing that it’s completely natural.
As the name suggests, ammonia hydroxide is basically watered down ammonia, which makes it less potent than pure ammonia. This allows manufacturers and processors to use in a variety of food products, such as chocolate, cheese, yogurt, doughnuts, cakes, cookies and meat. Although it doesn’t add any flavor to the product, ammonia hydroxide helps to ward off against potentially harmful bacteria and pathogens. Studies have shown that ammonia hydroxide is useful in battling E. coli, which is one of the most common causes of food-borne illness. It directly attacks the E. coli bacteria, preventing it from reproducing and spreading.
Hopefully this gives you a better understanding as to how ammonia hydroxide is used in food processing. Remember, it’s been approved by the FDA for several decades and chances are you’ve consumed it before.