What Is BHT in Food?


Quick Answer

BHT, short for butylated hydroxytoluene, is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is added to foods like butter, meats and baked goods to prevent spoiling and preserve color and flavor. It is also used in products like beer to prevent yeast from foaming and in emollient-based cosmetics like lip balms.

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Full Answer

When sold as a food additive, BHT comes in a white powder form. It is currently being studied for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties and as a possible treatment for herpes simplex and AIDS. BHT is an FDA-approved additive, but some people, however, have a problem metabolizing BHT and report health and behavioral problems after ingesting it.

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