Ammonium hydroxide (E527) is a food supplement. It is a weak formation, which is obtained by combining ammonia with water. This food supplement belongs to the group of emulsifiers, and due to its chemical properties it is most often used as an acidity regulator.
Ammonium hydroxide is a combination of pure water and ammonia. The solution is clear, with a pungent and fairly sharp odor. If we consider the industrial production of additives, then for this use the products of burning coal and dissolve them in water. The production process takes place in several stages: the first stage is distillation, the second stage is reflux and the final stage is the condensation of ammonia water.
Ammonia Water Formula - NH4OH. Food supplement E527 is actively used in the production of food products in the form of an emulsifier. Manufacturers often use other names for the additive - ammonium hydroxide or ammonium hydroxide. The solution is completely colorless, but with a sharp odor characteristic of acetone. The additive is excellently soluble in water. Raw materials, in particular ammonia water, which is obtained by combining coke oven gas and water, are usually used for production. The main purpose of using this supplement in the food industry is to regulate acidity. E527 is dangerous for the human body, therefore, it is not permitted in all world countries. To date, its use is permitted in the EU, Russia and Ukraine.
E527 has alkaline properties, therefore, its pure, undiluted form can cause serious chemical burns. The additive is allergenic and irritates not only the mucous membranes, but also the skin. For this reason, in cosmetics E527 you can find a maximum of 6% concentration. Most often, from cosmetics, ammonia water can be found in hair dyes, but its concentration should not exceed 3%. It is desirable that the composition of hair dyes does not have this synthetic additive at all.
The use of ammonium hydroxide
In the food industry, ammonia water is added to some varieties of chocolate, to various cocoa products, to caramel candies. During the production of these products, the additive acts as a buffer. It is worth noting that cocoa beans contain 2% acids, which in contact with E527 are completely neutralized.
In addition to the food industry, ammonium water is used in household goods and in medicine. 10% solution is known to many as ammonia. With its sharp inhalation, stimulation of the respiratory center is observed. Liquid ammonia is actively used during the period of elimination after anesthesia, in case of loss of consciousness, during the period when an urgent need to cause a gag reflex. It is also worth noting that the E527 solution is used externally, as it has excellent cooling and antiseptic properties. They are often treated with insect bites, small scratches and hands for disinfection.
Often there is information that this food supplement is used to disinfect various types of meat (it is soaked in Ammonium Hydroxide solution). The result is a complete disinfection of the product (this is a positive point), and saturation of the product with an ammonia aqueous solution is also observed, which can negatively affect the functionality of the whole organism.
It is also worth noting that ammonium hydroxide is present in some fertilizers, hair dyes, detergents and even soda.
Ammonium hydroxide is found in hair dyes, and is also used for chemical straightening or curling hair. The main task of E527 for hair care is to cause the swelling and opening of each hair, and to start the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Periodically, ammonia water at 6% concentration can be found as a pH corrector in skin care products and hair styling products.
Since the supplement is dangerous for the body, it is worth paying attention to its amount in the product. The maximum norm of E527 is 50 grams of ammonia water per 1 kilogram of products.
In addition to all of the above, ammonium hydroxide is found in: agricultural products (non-pesticidal), building materials, cleaning and furniture, electrical and electronic products, explosive materials, textile, leather and leather products, inks, toners and dyes, laundry services, dishwashers, lawn and garden care products, paper products, personal care products, water treatment products.
Harmful of ammonia water
Ammonium hydroxide should be added to the product according to certain recommendations and technical instructions, very often there is a combination with other hydroxide additives. According to the established standards in cocoa and chocolate, the E527 norm should not exceed 70 grams per 1 kilogram. In other cases, this norm is 50 grams of supplements per 1 kilogram of product.
In some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, ammonium water is prohibited for use as a dietary supplement, as there is evidence of a negative reflection of the additive on the human body. Most often, the intestines and liver suffer from ammonium hydroxide.
The harm of E527 lies in its instability and easy separation into water and ammonia. Pure ammonia is an active irritant that negatively affects the condition of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. When choosing products, it is advisable to carefully study their composition, and, if possible, to avoid this food supplement, since each organism has an individual, and therefore it is impossible to accurately calculate the safe norm E527.
When recalling the harmful properties of Ammonium Hydroxide, they come to the first place: the ability to cause chemical burns, incredible toxicity, instability (decomposition into water and pure ammonia in its pure form), the ability to irritate the respiratory tract, mucous membranes and skin.
Effects from exposure to E527 may include excessive irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, contact burns of the skin and eyes, life-threatening pulmonary edema. In action and situations where excessive exposure to the additive is possible, it is recommended to wear protective self-contained breathing apparatus and protective clothing (including full face protection). If contact occurs, immediately flush affected skin or eyes with running water for at least 15 minutes and remove contaminated clothing and shoes in place. E527 is highly flammable. Fires containing ammonium hydroxide can be extinguished with a dry chemical, CO2, fog or standard foam.
Ammonium hydroxide should be stored in cool, well-ventilated rooms, in strong glass, plastic or rubber bottles, away from heavy metals, acids and combustible materials (e.g. wood, paper, oil). For small spills of ammonium hydroxide, first select the spill area, then take sand or other non-combustible absorbent with you and place in a container for subsequent disposal. Before implementing waste ammonium hydroxide waste disposal, consult with environmental authorities.