What is antidusting agent? The term anti-dusting agent often refers to a material used in industry to prevent or reduce the ability of finely ground materials from aeresolizing. Many otherwise harmless powdered materials can create fire, explosion hazards when they become suspended in the air in certain concentrations. Also, dust from powdered products creates waste, lowering profits. And dust from almost any material can create unpleasant environment requiring use of face masks, protective clothing, and other special equipment during handling of materials in powdered form.
Anti-dusting agents help supress dust created by powdered materials. In the most extreme cases, anti-dusting agents mitigate hazards like dust explosions. More commonly, they prevent help powdered inventory from "blowing away" and being wasted. And of course they help create a safer environment for workers by reducing or eliminating inhalation of airborne materials.
You've probably heard of flour mill explosions. It's a common hazard that dust from many food industry powdered materials such as flour, instant coffee, dried milk, sugar, food powders (custard/soup powders) used in food plants, can become suspended in the air during milling, processing, or use. At the right concentration, a dust cloud of even mildly combustable material in the air can create a devastating fire or explosion.
Between 1994 and 2003 there were 115 dust explosions reported by the agriculture and food processing industries.
But anti-dusting agents are used in the food production industry for more practical purposes too - to prevent waste and maximize profits. And to keep the air free of allergens, allowing cleaner work plants and reducing or eliminating the need for workers to wear face masks and other protective clothing. Not to mention, it's alot easier to see what you're doing when you're not walking around in a cloud of food powder.
Since anti-dusting agents need to be mixed with food, they need to be edible and relatively harmless. High stability vegetable oils, soybean oils, and other products are used in small amounts to coat food powders so they don't make dust when they're handled.
On January 25, 2010, it was reported on Fox News that Taco Bell is being sued by the Alabama law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles. It was reportedly claimed that Taco Bell's meat mixture contained just 35 percent beef, with the remaining 65 percent containing water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch.
The term "anti-dusting agent" quickly gained alot of attention, prompting many people to ask "what is antidusting agent?" The unusual term, usually reserved for industry-speak, conjures the idea of some type of strange chemical is being added to the meat. The truth, however, is less sensational.
The anti-dusting agent used by Taco Bell was later identified as soybean oil, a generally harmless and common food ingredient. As an anti-dusting agent, soybean oil is likely used by Taco Bell to help prevent powdered taco meat ingredients such as tomato powder, corn starch, and spices from creating spicy dust clouds in the production facilities. The soybean oil they mix into the powders probably makes for a much more pleasant breathing environment for the Taco Bell factory workers - most of us would opt against huffing vaporized chili powder too. And by minimizing production waste, Taco Bell is able to deliver those delicious tacos for pennies each.
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