Following on from yesterdays post on Coconut Milk & Coconut Cream, I’ve found out a few things about those added ingredients. Seemingly innocuous names such as E435 hide chemicals I quite simply would rather not consume. I’ll take the coconut milk with the huge layer of cream on top, thanks.
Stabilizer E466 (or just 466): Also known as Carboxymethyl Cellulose
This is used as a thicking agent, a filler, anti clumping agent and an emulsifier. As well as its use in food, Carboxymethyl Cellulose is also used in ceramics, detergents & textiles. It is derived from cellulose (as found in wood & plant structures) which is chemically modified. It isn’t possible to find out the source directly, but it could come from genetically engineered cotton plants.
Vegetable gum (412) or Emulsifier, E412: More commonly known as Guar gum
Guar Gum is often added as a thickener to avoid the contents of the tin separating. Guar Gum is made from the seed of the Cyamopsis tetragonoloba shrub, which is a legume The seeds are dehusked, milled & screened to produce an off white powder. I think I’d rather deal with the natural separation of the coconut milk.
Emulsifier E435: Also known as Polyoxethylene sorbitan monostearate, Polysorbate 60, or Tween 60
This chemical compound is created from ethylene oxide (a synthetic compound), sorbitol and palmitic acid. One of the main issues appears to be that the origin of these components is not easy to find out, but may be include “vegetable” oils. I’ve not been able to find any relevant studies, but there are lots of mentions of cancer when discussing this additive.
Thickener E415, also known as Xanthin gum
This thickener is created from fermenting corn sugar with a bacterium. It may also use wheat, dairy or soy. As with all of these additives it is very hard to determine exactly how the chemical was derived.
Do you know more about these additives? Are you happy to consume a small amount of these additives to get coconut milk into your diet? Let me know in the comments below.