As good as new? This lemon cake expired in 1999! (Photo: NRK)
The last 16 years, this lemon cake has been lying in the cupboard in Berit and Harald’s kitchen. It looks just as good now as in 1999, but how it taste?
– It is scary, you know. There must be something fishy added, because things you bake yourself starts to mold only after a few days, says Berit Andersen to NRK.no.
Along with her husband Harald Nilsen, she runs a small farm in Eidsvoll.
– We have preserved it only to see what would happen to it, says Harald.
The lemon cake originally expired on 23 March 1999 – in other words over 16 years ago! Harald is worried about the consequences additives may have for our health.
– It would be interesting to know what we are really eating, he says.
NRK brought the “vintage” cake to food scientist Trygve Eklund.
– The preservatives are sorbic acid and propionic acid. These are effective agents against mold and bacteria, says Eklund.
The microorganisms were killed during baking, but if any of them survived, they would die from dehydration. The stabilizer added prevents the microorganism’s access to water.
– I would not be afraid to eat it, says Eklund.
The expert does not fear the preservatives either.
– They are completely harmless for all who is not allergic to the substances.
After tasting the cake, he claims it is edible, but has an intense rancid flavor. (See video here)
Earlier this year, professor emeritus at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Tore Midtveit, arranged a conference with new research on the gut flora – including a study where propionic acid provoked autism-like symptoms in rats.
– Preservatives inhibit growth of bacteria, and it is clear they affect the intestinal flora. However, we know too little about how. Although there are limits to how much propionic acid each product contain, we do not know the quantities we consume in total, he said, and added:
– I fish my own fish and grow my own potatoes for a reason.
In 2014, the company Baxt bought the Norwegian cake producer Bertha. Since then, the lemon cake has been out of production.
– I do not know the cake recipe from 1999. However, I assure that Baxt relate to current rules and regulations for the use of additives, says quality manager in Baxt, Kjersti Solhaug to NRK.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (FSA) also says that propionic acid is approved for this type of use.
– Propionic acid and salts of propionic acid is approved in a variety of foods, and is believed not to cause any health risks, says Cecilie Svenning in FSA.
Text modified by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews