In his statement, there were at least two things that caused the withdrawal. Not least because sulfur dioxide and benzoic acid don’t include both on food package labels.
In fact, both are still within the allowable limits. However, Singapore rules require it to be listed on the product.
“Both ABC products from Indonesia are known to contain sulfur dioxide,” the SFA said in a press release quoted by Channel News Asia (CNA), Wednesday (09/07/2022).
“The SFA also detected the presence of benzoic acid there, which is not mentioned on food packaging labels,” the agency added.
Here are some interesting facts about ABC soy sauce and sauce that we haven’t noticed in a while, quoting CNN:
1. Sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide is a chemical that has preservative properties, so it is found in many foods. This substance is also called can kill bacteria and prevent food color from changing.
However, not all products mention this substance on the food packaging label. Only products with a high sulfur dioxide content or around 10 milligrams per liter are required to include this substance on the packaging.
So, is sulfur dioxide dangerous? In releasing Live Strong, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) claims that if consumed by healthy people, sulfur dioxide is unlikely to cause reactions.
But this substance is not good for asthmatics. According to an article in the March 2017 issue of the Journal of Asthma and Allergy, known side effects of sulfur dioxide include tightness in the chest and throat, wheezing, and coughing.
“For some people, especially those with asthma, the side effects can turn into a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction,” the report said.
Non-respiratory effects in some people include hives, headaches, and itchy skin. Additionally, a study published in the October 2017 issue of the journal Public Library of Science indicates that this preservative stops the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea.
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2. Benzoic acid
While benzoic acid is a white crystalline solid and is the simplest aromatic carboxylic acid. Like sulfur dioxide, this weak acid and its salts are used as food preservatives.
Not only serves as a food preservative, benzoic acid is also widely present in the manufacture of various cosmetics, dyes, plastics, insect repellents. As for side effects, Healthline says, studies show that sodium benzoate may increase the risk of inflammation, oxidative stress, obesity, ADHD and allergies.
It can also be transformed into benzene, a potential carcinogen. However, the low levels found in the drink are considered safe for consumption.
According to Velocity EHS, benzoic acid itself is non-toxic and stable under ordinary conditions. However, exposure limits for this compound have not been established and benzoic acid is still said to pose a health risk.
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