Emulsifiers are used in processed foods, drugs, vitamins, vaccines, soaps, and cosmetics. They hold ingredients that generally don’t like to be together, like oil and water, in a stable union. They are found in everyday products ranging from mouthwash to ice cream to salad dressing and barbecue sauce.
When emulsifiers first came into vogue, they were classified by the government as GRAS—”generally regarded as safe”—because in animal studies designed to detect acute toxicity and/or carcinogenic properties, they exhibited neither. But their consumption in the Western world has risen dramatically over the late twentieth century, largely in tandem with inflammatory disorders like colitis and metabolic syndrome, a collective suite of obesity-associated diseases. That connection has prompted more refined safety studies on emulsifiers and other food additives.
The results of some of this new work were published in Nature, implicating two specific emulsifiers in the development of colitis and metabolic syndrome in mice. The emulsifiers exert these effects by disturbing a mouse’s microbial community.
Through natural cooking, compounds are formed and released which we are entirely ignorant of, we have no idea what we’re putting into our mouths or the larger effects of consuming things routinely, and that’s without adding in synthesized preservatives, coloring’s and additives.
It holds no surprise that artificial emulsifiers are terrible for your digestive tract and overall well being, that being said, its far more convenient and “legal” to go to a store and buy mayonnaise than it is to actually make it. Some are less than keen on fresh mayo, simply because they fear eating raw yolks…
A minuscule chance of salmonella is far more frightening than gorging on less than tested additives to your average consumer.
The industry is slowly changing. It began with vegetarianism becoming mainstream… Gluten free has gotten more traction than lactose intolerance, but there are non-dairy alternatives available on the shelves now.