Is phosphate dangerous

How dangerous is phosphate?

Questions to Susanne Henn, SWR Environment and Nutrition

Is Phosphate Toxic?

No, phosphate is not toxic per se. Phosphates occur naturally in foods such as legumes, nuts and meat. The body gains phosphorus from it. This is an important mineral; it is needed, for example, to build up cell walls. If you take in too much of it, that's not a big problem as it is excreted with the urine. People with kidney disease are an exception - we have known for a long time that too much phosphorus is a problem. You need to be careful about your diet.

But phosphate is added to the doner kebab, right?

Yes. There are initial studies that suggest that these added phosphates can also cause problems in healthy people. Phosphate intake has more than doubled on average over the past three decades as we eat more and more convenience foods and fast foods. Unlike natural phosphates, these added phosphates are almost completely absorbed by the body.

There is evidence here that too much of it can alter the inner walls of the vessels. This could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. There may also be an increased risk of osteoporosis. But that's not quite clear yet. An investigation by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA is currently underway. The result should be available at the end of 2018.

Does kebab kebab without phosphate pose a hygiene risk?

I do not suspect, because in Greece or the Czech Republic phosphates are not allowed in frozen kebab kebab anyway, and from there there have been no reports of mass food poisoning after kebab kebab consumption. But it is definitely a visual problem, the meat looks gray more quickly without phosphate. The phosphates take care of that too.

They are kind of an all-purpose weapon in the food industry. It can be used to acidify canned sausages or fish and make them durable. In cola, they ensure the beautiful color, even in gummy bears. With pudding powder, this prevents the lumps and so on. From the point of view of the food industry, phosphate has great properties and is therefore often added - especially in fast food or ready-made meals.

Online: Heidi Keller, Lutz Heyser