Had any good Sodium Tripolyphospate lately?

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If summer fare means eating lighter for you as it does for so many of us, you may have involuntarily ingested sodium tripolyphosphate. Many packaging plants “wash” shrimp and scallops in the harmful chemical before freezing. It gives the manufacturer the safety of killing every living bacteria (excuse me, but some of those are actually useful), so they’re not liable there. In the process, they’ve bleached away the delicate flavor those lovely crustaceans.

It seems the solution is often the same: shop in a health food market that understands you don’t want to ingest a industrial chemicals. There you are likely to pay more per pound, but in reality it probably works out just the same as purchasing untreated goods because the sodium tripolyphosphate makes foods retain water. If for instance Whole Foods is charging $8.99 for shrimp and more downscale market is charging $5.99, it could be without the additional water retention in the treated shrimp, you are getting just as much actual shrimp  spending $8.99 per pound.

Other sources of this harmful chemical with which you may come in contact are–are you ready for this— household cleaners.

Wikipedia says:

STPP is a solid inorganic compound used in a large variety of household cleaning products, mainly as a builder, but also in human foodstuffs, animal feeds, industrial cleaning processes and ceramics manufacture. STPP is widely used in regular and compact laundry detergents and automatic dishwashing detergents (in powder, liquid, gel and/or tablet form), toilet cleaners….

Food Applications: It is common in food production. In foods, STPP is used to retain moisture. Many governments regulate the quantities allowed in foods, as it can substantially increase the sale weight of seafood in particular.

Many people find STPP to add an unpleasant taste to food, particularly delicate seafood. The taste tends to be slightly sharp and soapy and is particularly detectable in mild-tasting foods. The increased water holding properties can also lead to a more diluted flavor in the food.

Toxitcokinetics and acute toxicity: Polyphosphates are hydrolyzed into smaller units (orthophosphates) in the gut before absorption, which may induce a metabolic acidosis[citation needed]. The acute toxicity of polyphosphates is low, as the lowest LD50 after oral administration is > 1,000 mg/kg body weight

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