This article is part of the #LabelWise campaign for awareness on food label reading and smart eating habits.
When it comes to reading food labels, it’s not just about understanding the nutritional information and additives.
The obscure names of commonly used ingredients are one aspect that frequently goes unnoticed. These slippery aliases can make it challenging for shoppers to recognize what’s truly in their food. We will enable you to make informed choices for a healthier lifestyle by decoding the labels and delving into the world of hidden names in this article.
Uncovering the intention behind using hidden names for ingredients:
For a variety of purposes, food manufacturers frequently employ the tactic of concealing ingredient names. One essential objective is to make their items more interesting to shoppers by masking specific parts that might be seen adversely. Manufacturers can give the impression of a cleaner and healthier product by using alternative names. Be that as it may, this training can subvert customer trust and frustrate informed navigation.
Manufacturers’ strategies to disguise certain components:
To obscure the true nature of ingredients, manufacturers may employ a range of strategies. They may use scientific or technical terms that are unfamiliar to most consumers, making it difficult to decipher what is actually contained within the product. Additionally, they may rely on ambiguous terms or generic descriptors that provide little insight into the specific ingredients used. These strategies create a veil of confusion, making it challenging for consumers to understand the composition of the food they consume.
Impact on consumer awareness and informed decision-making:
The use of hidden names for ingredients can have a significant impact on consumer awareness and their ability to make informed decisions about the foods they buy. Without a clear understanding of the true nature of the ingredients, consumers may unknowingly consume substances they wish to avoid, such as added sugars, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
This lack of transparency can compromise individuals’ efforts to maintain a healthy diet and make choices aligned with their dietary preferences or restrictions.
Exploration of commonly used hidden names for ingredients:
- Hidden Names for Added Sugars:
- High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Corn syrup
- Agave nectar
- Hidden Names for Artificial Flavors:
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Natural identical flavor
- Spice extract
- Flavor enhancer
- Hidden Names for Preservatives:
- Sodium benzoate
- Potassium sorbate
- Calcium propionate
- Sorbic acid
- Nitrites and nitrates
- BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
- BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
- TBHQ (tert-Butylhydroquinone)
- Propyl gallate
- Hidden Names for Artificial Sweeteners:
- Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K)
- Stevia extract (rebaudioside A)
- Hidden Names for Emulsifiers and Stabilizers:
- Mono- and diglycerides
- Polysorbate 80
- Xanthan gum
- Guar gum
- Cellulose gum
- Hidden Names for MSG (Monosodium Glutamate):
- Monosodium glutamate
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Autolyzed yeast extract
- Glutamic acid
- Yeast extract
- Soy protein isolate
- Hidden Names for Trans Fats:
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils
- Hidden Names for Artificial Colors:
- FD&C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine)
- FD&C Red No. 40 (Allura Red)
- FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue)
- Caramel color
- Annatto extract
- Hidden Names for Allergens:
- Milk and milk derivatives (casein, whey)
- Gluten-containing grains (wheat, barley, rye)
- Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
- Fish and shellfish
- Sesame seeds
- Hidden Names for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs):
- Genetically modified
- GM ingredients
- Non-GMO Project Verified
By familiarizing yourself with these hidden names, you can become a more informed consumer and make healthier food choices. Remember to always read the ingredient labels carefully and prioritize whole, minimally processed foods to ensure your diet aligns with your health goals and preferences.
We have deciphered the hidden code behind food labels by delving into the world of common ingredient names. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the grocery aisles and make well-informed choices that are in line with your health goals. Keep in mind that reading the fine print alone is not enough to become label-wise; It’s about embracing a more open food culture and taking charge of your health.
To continue your journey towards smart eating habits, sign up for our newsletter and receive our free eBook, “Smart Eating Habits,” filled with valuable insights, recipes, and tips for achieving optimal health and vitality