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INS 627, 631, 635: What are Those Mysterious Ingredients you Consume Every day?

In order to produce a tasty food product, flavor is a crucial component of food production and processing that requires careful planning, monitoring, and testing. By the time food reaches consumers, canning, freezing, and heating can have reduced the original taste. To overcome this issue, taste, sour, bitter, salty, and savory tastes are kept intact throughout the production process using flavor enhancers.

It is a no-brainer that consumers turn to food products that taste great and have a desirable texture and consistency. Compounds, known as flavor enhancers, are added to food in order to complement or improve the inherent flavor of the food item. The idea of flavor enhancement first appeared in Asia, where chefs would add seaweed to soup stocks to give them a fuller flavor. The amino acid L-glutamate was discovered to be the flavor-enhancing component of seaweed, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) was the first flavor enhancer to be used commercially. The complex flavor that L-glutamate is known for is called umami. Natural sources of umami include cheese, veggies, and sea cuisine (such as fish, seaweed, clams, and oysters) (e.g., edible fungi, soybean, and carrot).


The three primary classes of conventional taste enhancers are amino acids, nucleotides, organic acids and their sodium salts. Here are some common flavor enhancers in the food industry - sodium aspartate, disodium inosinate (IMP), disodium guanylate (GMP), disodium cytidylate (CMP), disodium adenylate (AMP), disodium uridylate (UMP), and disodium succinate.

For What Purposes are Flavor Enhancers Used?

  • Enhancement of flavor

  • Maintaining flavor

  • Enhance a good flavor

  • Replace flavor lost while processing food

  • Give particular flavor to food

  • Mask some undesirable flavors in order to increase the acceptability of food

Most Common Flavor Enhancers

A typical flavor enhancer and food additive that is commonly used is monosodium glutamate (MSG) (INS 621), which is made from the glutamate amino acid. Monosodium glutamate is occasionally used as an ingredient to lower salt content. The 5′-ribonucleotides, inosine monophosphate (IMP), guanosine monophosphate (GMP), yeast extract, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are some other substances that are utilized as flavor enhancers. The use of these flavor enhancers in sauces, broths, and soups is common.


Extracts From Autolyzed Yeast

Autolyzed yeast extracts are organic flavor-enhancing additives, despite the fact that the phrase may conjure thoughts of large machinery. Yeast cells are partially broken down by their own enzymes to produce a partially non-soluble taste enhancer. Autolyzed yeast extracts are frequently utilized to give meats and baked goods a roasted, toasted, or grilled flavor. Although ingesting autolyzed yeast extracts has no known negative side effects, a person who is allergic to yeast may want to restrict or avoid eating items that contain them.


Maltodextrin

The grain starch is converted into the flavoring ingredient maltodextrin by using a method of Partial hydrolysis. The starch is divided into smaller polymers during this process. Maltodextrin is a versatile additive because it is used in a variety of products to extend the shelf life of sweets, delay or prevent granulation, give foods a powdery appearance, act as a "filler" ingredient, prevent melting, reduce sweetness, change a food's flavor, and improve the natural smell and nutrient retention in beverages. Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index, contrary to what its name might imply, so diabetics and hypoglycemics should monitor their intake proportions.


INS 627 (Disodium Guanylate)

A food additive called Enhancer 627 is used to improve the flavor of any food product. When used in little quantities, it improves the flavor of any culinary product. It lacks any inherent color. It is available as a crystalline powder or tiny crystals. The source of it is monosodium glutamate.

This flavor enhancer 627 is created from the fermentation of tapioca starch. Other items used to extract this taste enhancer include sardines and yeast. It gives a variety of foods a savoury flavor. There are two varieties of Enhancer 627; one contains fish extracts, and the other offers yeast extract that is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.


INS 631 (Disodium [(2R,3S,4R,5R)-3,4-dihydroxy-5-(6-oxo-3H-purin-9-yl) oxolan-2-yl] methyl phosphate)

A sodium salt of inosinic acid, a naturally occurring acid primarily found in animals, is called Flavor Enhancer (INS 631). It comes in the form of crystalline powder or crystals that range in color from white to colorless. It is made commercially using fish or meat. However, bacterial fermentation of sugar might also result in its production.


How does it function?

To add umami flavor to packaged food products and fast food, flavor enhancer (INS 631) is frequently combined with monosodium glutamate (MSG) and occasionally with flavor enhancer (INS 627) (disodium guanylate). Additionally, this lessens the requirement for salt in that product. The primary goal of this additive is to significantly improve the flavor of the food it is added to.


INS 635 (Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides)

It is one of the most widely used flavor enhancers. To prepare it, Disodium guanylate (INS 627/E 627) and disodium inosinate (INS 631/E 631) are blended in the appropriate amounts, according to the European Food Safety Authority. It is important to note that extracts of meat are included in flavor enhancer INS 635. Vegan and vegetarian sources are employed to produce vegetarian food enhancers, though. Further, INS 635 can be used in conjunction with MSG (E621) or in place of MSG. Although it is sparsely soluble in alcohol-based solutions, it is soluble in water. Instant noodles, potato chips, cheese, sauces, ice cream, and soups are a few food items that make use of this flavor enhancer.

This ingredient extends the shelf life of herbs and seasonings as well.


Who Is Not Allowed to Consume Flavor Enhancers?

  • Food products with food additives shouldn't be given to infants less than 12 months

  • Flavor enhancers may cause allergies in people with gout and asthma

  • Either short or long-term toxicity to sensitive individuals

Consequences of Using Excessive Enhancers

Anything that is consumed excessively might be harmful to one's health. Food additives operate in a similar manner. They are made up of chemical substances and have a number of negative impacts. It would be best if you avoid consuming more of it.

Some of the Most Common Side Effects of Consuming Flavor Enhancers are:

  • Flavor enhancers trigger allergies in a lot of people.

  • It can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and occasionally very bad headaches after consumption.

  • A few people who consume it also develop skin rashes or skin redness.

  • Allergies on the lips, face, or tongue are other common symptoms that people may experience.

  • Although salt enhances the sensory qualities of food, people are aware that consuming too much sodium raises the chance of developing chronic diseases.

Conclusion

In order to produce a tasty food product, flavor is a crucial component of food production and processing that requires careful planning, monitoring, and testing. By the time food reaches consumers, canning, freezing, and heating can have reduced the original taste. To overcome this issue, taste, sour, bitter, salty, and savory tastes are kept intact throughout the production process using flavor enhancers. It is interesting to note the way food businesses use flavor generation, flavor analysis, and sensory perception of food flavor to develop new products and enhance old ones.

Even while minute amounts of these taste enhancers wouldn't significantly impact the customers' health, certain people might still be affected by them. Be careful and read all the food labels before purchasing.

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