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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:55 AM

Ammonia-treated food goes beyond "pink slime"


(Reuters) - Surprise rippled across America last month as a new wave of consumers discovered that hamburgers often contained ammonia-treated beef, or what critics dub "pink slime".

What they may not have known is that ammonia - often associated with cleaning products - was cleared by U.S. health officials nearly 40 years ago and is used in making many foods, including cheese. Related compounds have a role in baked goods and chocolate products.

Using small amounts of ammonia to make food is not unusual to those expert in high-tech food production. Now that little known world is coming under increasing pressure from concerned consumers who want to know more about what they are eating.

"I think we're seeing a sea change today in consumers' concerns about the presence of ingredients in foods, and this is just one example," said Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/04/us-food-ammonia-idUSBRE8331B420120404



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Reply Ammonia-treated food goes beyond "pink slime" (Original post)
marmar Apr 2012 OP
sharp_stick Apr 2012 #1
Viva_La_Revolution Apr 2012 #2
eppur_se_muova Apr 2012 #7
sharp_stick Apr 2012 #9
mactime Apr 2012 #3
qb Apr 2012 #4
Pachamama Apr 2012 #6
TexasProgresive Apr 2012 #5
Evasporque Apr 2012 #8
eppur_se_muova Apr 2012 #10

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:14 AM

1. I've used ammonia in baking

for years, so have millions of other cookie and cracker makers. The following recipe won't be anywhere near as good as my Grandmothers was but there it is.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ammonia-cookies/

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:36 AM

2. that's Ammonium Carbonate

(NH4)2CO3 also used as smelling salts

they're using ammonium hydroxide, the same stuff in cleaning products

I googled this and low and behold, there's a whole new slew of articles telling us they add ammonia to our food all the time so see, it's perfectly safe!
still doesn't explain how they're allowed to rip us off by 15% with that dead fumigated crap instead of fresh meat.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:48 PM

7. That decomposes on heating, forming *mostly* ammonia and CO2 gases.

Chances are that small amounts of urea, ammonium carbamate, and ammonium cyanate are formed as well. At oven temperatures, the ammonia and CO2 should escape pretty quickly.

I would avoid breathing in the fumes that come out of the oven -- because of the ammonia, not because of any special hazard due to it being in the form of ammonium carbonate. If you clean your floors with ammonia, you've been exposed to more ammonia than that already. Not a huge danger, just try not to inhale too much of it.


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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:01 PM

9. I know

you just have to be careful you don't inhale when you open the oven door. When it's hot that smell can hit you like a hammer.

My wife usually leaves the house because of the smell but it's just at Christmas so it doesn't happen often. It dissipates in a hurry then everybody's happy.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:24 AM

3. I thought I was going crazy

 

but over the last 2 years I have been unable to eat regular chicken. I have to get free range, organic chicken. I swear I get the smell of ammonia when I eat regular chicken and it almost makes me gag.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:27 AM

4. Every story like this causes me to shift more of my money into organic food.

It's often more expensive, but when I find out the industry and its regulators decided it was ok to add dog food to our ground beef, I change my priorities.

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Response to qb (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:34 PM

6. That an unprocessed.....ugh....just reading this made me nauseated.....n/t

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:33 AM

5. Considering how crappy the animal protein industry is

It seems to me that the use of ammonia to disinfect meat products especially ground meat should be universal.

It's not the ammonia that bothers me about "pink slime" it is the fact that they are putting this (formerly) waste in our children's food (as well as the rest of us).

Any ammonia residue would escape with the heat of cooking just as the alcohol does when cooking with wine or brandy.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:57 PM

8. "See this machine..."

"...it shits out a mixture of chemicals and leftover food protein and collagen. We treat the floor scraps grind them up and add coloring so it blends nicely with raw ground meat products...good stuff."

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:04 PM

10. Apparently, "ammonia and Coke" was a common fountain drink back in the 20's or so ...

http://www.artofdrink.com/soda-fountain/drinks/ammonia-coke/

Any ammonia you drink has to be metaboloized to urea and extracted by the kidneys -- probably not all that good to place that extra strain on your kidneys.

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