Activated charcoal has become a powerful ingredient in beauty products but did you know you can also find it in food products? Although its health claims include that it can detox and cleanse your body, it has also been accompanied with controversy. This was recently the case in Italy.
- Activated Charcoal as a Food Coloring
The Italian Ministry of Health has offered new guidelines bakers need to follow when making use of 'black bread', otherwise known as bread containing vegetable carbon or activated charcoal. This is because activated charcoal is listed as E153 carbon black and it’s a food coloring that gives bread it’s (frankly weird) dark color. E153 is not a good ingredient to consume. Although it is free of animal-derived ingredients, in the United States it has been banned because the food coloring is said to have a possible link to cancer. E153 is made by burning vegetable matter. Although bakers have been claiming that the colouring can assist people with digestive issues, The European Food Safety Authority has previously made it clear that activated charcoal does not reduce bloating.
- Think Twice About Adding Activated Charcoal to Your Healthy Diet
Interestingly, when activated charcoal is added to healthy green juices it can make it less nutritious. This is because activated charcoal works as a binding agent, so it might make nutrients in your food stick together, which prevents them from getting absorbed so that they can keep your body healthy.
The Italian Ministry of Health has stated that the use of colouring is not allowed in bread products, so this black bread cannot be marketed as such. However, activated charcoal is allowed in fine bakery products, but it’s best to consider if it’s really worth consumption. Sure, you’re probably excited to try something vegan that’s new and exciting, but always learn more about food claims before you take a bite.
*Image courtesy tony98 / Dollar Photo Club