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Uncle Dan's Ingredient Definitions
February 01, 2018
At Uncle Dan's, we get a lot of questions about our ingredients. Most folks want to know the definition of the ingredients. So, with Wikipedia's help, we've put together a list of definitions of all those complicated-sounding ingredients found in our salad dressings, seasonings, and dips.
Acetic acid /əˈsiːtᵻk/, systematically named ethanoic acid, is a colourless liquid organic compound with the chemical formula CH3COOH (also written as CH3CO2H or C2H4O2). When undiluted, it is sometimes called glacial acetic acid. Vinegar is roughly 3–9% acetic acid by volume, making acetic acid the main component of vinegar apart from water. Acetic acid has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell. In addition to household vinegar, it is mainly produced as a precursor to polyvinyl acetate and cellulose acetate. It is classified as a weak acid since it only partially dissociates in solution, but concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and can attack the skin. Wikipedia
Sodium calcium edetate (sodium calcium EDTA), also known as edetate calcium disodium among other names, is a medication primarily used to treat lead poisoning. This includes short term and long term lead poisoning. For lead encephalopathy it is typically used together with dimercaprol. It does not appear to be useful for tetraethyllead toxicity. It is given by slow injection into a vein or into a muscle.
Common side effects include pain at the site of injection. Other side effects may include kidney problems, diarrhea, fever, muscle pains, and low blood pressure. Benefits when needed in pregnancy are likely greater than the risks. Sodium calcium edetate is in the chelating agent family of medication. It is a salt of edetate with two sodium and one calcium atoms. It works by binding a number of heavy metals which allows them to leave the body in the urine. Wikipedia
Calcium lactate is a white crystalline salt with formula C6H10CaO6, consisting of two lactate anions H3C(CHOH)CO−2 for each calcium cation Ca2+. It forms several hydrates, the most common being the pentahydrate C6H10CaO6·5H2O.
Calcium stearate Calcium stearate is carboxylate of calcium, classified as a calcium soap. It is a component of some lubricants, surfactants, as well as many foodstuffs. It is a white waxy powder.
Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) or cellulose gum is a cellulose derivative with carboxymethyl groups (-CH2-COOH) bound to some of the hydroxyl groups of the glucopyranose monomers that make up the cellulose backbone. It is often used as its sodium salt, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose. Wikipedia
Carrageenans or carrageenins (from Irish carraigín, /ˌkærəˈɡiːn/, "little rock") are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Their main application is in dairy and meat products, due to their strong binding to food proteins. There are three main varieties of carrageenan, which differ in their degree of sulphation. Kappa-carrageenan has one sulphate group per disaccharide, Iota-carrageenan has two, and Lambda-carrageenan has three.
Gelatinous extracts of the Chondrus crispus (Irish moss) seaweed have been used as food additives since approximately the fifteenth century. Carrageenan is a vegetarian and vegan alternative to gelatin in some applications or may be used to replace gelatin in confectionery. Wikipedia
Citric acid is a weak organic tricarboxylic acid having the chemical formula C6H8O7. It occurs naturally in citrus fruits. In biochemistry, it is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle, which occurs in the metabolism of all aerobic organisms.
Corn syrup is a food syrup which is made from the starch of corn (called maize in some countries) and contains varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides, depending on the grade. Corn syrup, also known as glucose syrup to confectioners, is used in foods to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar, and enhance flavor. Corn syrup is distinct from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is manufactured from corn syrup by converting a large proportion of its glucose into fructose using the enzyme D-xylose isomerase, thus producing a sweeter compound due to higher levels of fructose. Wikipedia
Disodium guanylate, also known as sodium 5'-guanylate and disodium 5'-guanylate, is a natural sodium salt of the flavor enhancing nucleotide guanosine monophosphate (GMP). Disodium guanylate is a food additive with the E number E627. It is commonly used in conjunction with glutamic acid (monosodium glutamate, MSG).
As it is a fairly expensive additive, it is not used independently of glutamic acid; if disodium guanylate is present in a list of ingredients but MSG does not appear to be, it is likely that glutamic acid is provided as part of another ingredient such as a processed soy protein complex. It is often added to foods in conjunction with disodium inosinate; the combination is known as disodium 5'-ribonucleotides.
Disodium inosinate Disodium inosinate is the disodium salt of inosinic acid with the chemical formula C₁₀H₁₁N₄Na₂O₈P. It is used as a food additive and often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other snacks. Wikipedia
Disodium phosphate Disodium phosphate, or sodium hydrogen phosphate, is the inorganic compound with the formula Na₂HPO₄. It is one of several sodium phosphates. The salt is known in anhydrous form as well as forms with 2, 7, 8, and 12 hydrates. Wikipedia
Guar gum Guar gum, also called guaran, is a substance made from guar beans which has thickening and stabilizing properties useful in various industries, traditionally the food industry, but increasingly the hydraulic fracturing industry. Wikipedia
Lactic acid Lactic acid is an organic compound with the formula CH₃CHCOOH. In its solid state, it is white and water-soluble. In its liquid state, it is clear. It is produced both naturally and synthetically. Wikipedia
Lactose Lactose is a disaccharide sugar composed of galactose and glucose that is found in milk. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk, although the amount varies among species and individuals, and milk with a reduced amount of lactose also exists. Wikipedia
Malic acid Malic acid is an organic compound with the molecular formula C₄H₆O₅. It is a dicarboxylic acid that is made by all living organisms, contributes to the pleasantly sour taste of fruits, and is used as a food additive. Wikipedia
Maltodextrin Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray-dried powder. Wikipedia
Monosodium glutamate Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. Monosodium glutamate is found naturally in tomatoes, cheese and other foods.
Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, chemical formula CH3CH=CH−CH=CH−CO2K. It is a white salt that is very soluble in water (58.2% at 20 °C). It is primarily used as a food preservative (E number202). Wikipedia
Sodium benzoate is a substance which has the chemical formula NaC7H5O2. It is a widely used food preservative, with an E number of E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid. Wikipedia
Sorbic acid, or 2,4-hexadienoic acid, is a natural organic compound used as a food preservative. It has the chemical formula CH3(CH)4CO2H. It is a colourless solid that is slightly soluble in water and sublimes readily. It was first isolated from the unripe berries of the Sorbus aucuparia (rowan tree), hence its name. Wikipedia
Soy Lecithin (from the Greek lekithos, "egg yolk") is a generic term to designate any group of yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues, which are amphiphilic - they attract both water and fatty substances (and so are both hydrophilic and lipophilic), and are used for smoothing food textures, dissolving powders (emulsifying), homogenizing liquid mixtures, and repelling sticking materials. Wikipedia
Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6 (PW6), or CI 77891. Generally it is sourced from ilmenite, rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, from paint to sunscreen to food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E number E171. Wikipedia
Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is manufactured during the making of rennettypes of hard cheese like Cheddar or Swiss cheese. Acid whey (also known as "sour whey") is a byproduct produced during the making of acid types of dairy products such as cottage cheese or strained yogurt.
Xanthan gum (/ˈzænθən/) is a polysaccharide with a wide variety of uses, including as a common food additive. It is a powerful thickening agent, and also has uses as a stabilizer to prevent ingredients from separating.
It can be produced from a range of simple sugars using a fermentation process, and derives its name from the strain of bacteria. Wikipedia