Label reading is an obsession of mine, and there are a few ingredients I just won't eat. Enriched flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and mono- and diglycerides are on the to-be-avoided list. Add to that the ingredients whose names I just cannot pronounce.
I recently came across the ingredient disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate on a package of Alexia Roasted Red Potatoes & Harvest Vegetables. I trust this company's all-natural products, but since you should never assume anything is healthy, I decided to do a little research to see what this incredibly lengthy ingredient is made of. Curious to know what I discovered? Then read more.
On the package, it says that disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate is used to "retain natural color," but it doesn't say where it comes from. When searching the Internet, it was actually difficult to find information on the ingredient at first, which made me even more wary. After a few clicks, I learned that it's an odorless chemical food additive in the form of a white crystalline powder. You may also see it listed as disodium diphosphate on labels such as canned seafood. Aside from retaining color, it's also used to prevent oxidation (browning) of potatoes, and as a leavening agent in breads.
It's characterized as GRAS (generally recognized as safe), but there are warnings that excessive use can lead to imbalanced levels of minerals in the body and bone loss.