The excessive use of additives like phosphoric acid and phosphate in Dongwon’s chili canned tuna has caused the Chinese General Administration of Customs to reject 2,160 kilograms of the product from entering the local market.
Phosphoric acid (E-338) is made from the mineral phosphorus which also naturally occurs in the human body. The acid is a non-toxic compound. It is used in small amounts in sodas like cola to reduce mold and bacterial growth. Added to tuna products, it boosts the taste.
Phosphate is often added to processed food to keep oil and water together. Phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral in high protein products such as meat, egg, and dairy. As an additive in meat and seafood, the water level in the product will remain after recooking. In tuna, it will increase the moisture uptake by the products' ingredients. High levels of phosphate in food can cause kidney disease, heart problems, intestinal inflammation, and decrease of bone density.