Today I would like to talk about tripotassium phosphate. Why? Well, while on my recent trip, my elderly aunt served us a choice of cereals for breakfast. The options included a couple of sugar-coated varieties and Cheerios. I picked the Cheerios and while eating I looked at the ingredient list (don’t we all read the box while eating cereal?:) ). Things were looking pretty good until I got to tripotassium phosphate. It sounded like a natural ingredient – at least things found in nature somewhere. So I made a mental note to check it out when I got home.
The basic description is that it is a food additive. It can be used as a whipping agent, emulsifier and foaming agent. It is water-soluble. It is a potassium salt of phosphoric acid.
In an article titled, “GMO Paranoia And The Hollow Health Claims Of Cheerios” dated February 10, 2014, I found this statement:
“Cheerios also contains tripotassium phosphate, a powerful cleaning agent. It is added in small amounts to adjust the acidity of the mix used to formulate the cereal. This too has raised the ire of some ill-informed activists who do not realize that we consume all sorts of naturally occurring phosphates regularly in our diet.”http://getbetterhealth.com/tag/tripotassium-phosphate/
In another article, it was discussed that chicken producers use tripotassium phosphate instead of chlorine to clean the meat of bacteria. I’m sure it is in a much higher concentration than as a food additive, but still I wonder about the additive.
Yes, potassium may be naturally occurring, but it is the phosphates that are the dangerous ingredient. In an article titled, “Natural” Isn’t Always Natural!”, a very disturbing fact came up.
“The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine did a study and found a possible connection between “phosphates” as a food additive, and the development of lung cancer!” https://www.onlineholistichealth.com/natural-isnt-always-natural/ (emphasis is mine)
Possible is a big word. At one time, smoking was considered a possible cause of lung cancer. I’m not saying that eating Cheerios will give you cancer – or actually harm you. We have been eating Cheerios and feeding them to our babies for many years. I personally ate many a bowl of Cheerios with sugar sprinkled on top (a lot of sugar) and a banana cut up it the bowl when I was growing up. When I was at my Aunt’s I ate my Cheerios with a banana but without the sugar this time.
This is another call you will have to make for yourself. Do you want tripotassium phosphate in your food or not? I do not intend to make a regular diet of it but if I am again on vacation and Cheerios is the only cereal offered, I will eat a bowl and not worry about it.
Bye for now, friends.