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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Food Additives

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Substances which are of little or no nutritive value, but are used in the processing or storage of foods or animal feed, especially in the developed countries; includes antioxidants; food preservatives; food coloring agents; flavoring agents; anti-infective agents; vehicles; excipients and other similarly used substances. Many of the same substances are pharmaceutics aids when added to pharmaceuticals rather than to foods. Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance.

Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling with vinegar, salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines. With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin. It is sometimes wrongly thought that food additives are a recent development, but there has certainly been an increase in public interest in the topic. Not all of this has been well-informed, and there are signs that commercial interests have been influenced by consumer pressure, as well as food producers manipulating the situation by marketing techniques. Various labeling regulations have been put into effect to ensure that contents of processed foods are known to consumers, and to ensure that food is fresh-important in unprocessed foods and probably important even if preservatives are used. In addition, we also need to add some preservatives in order to prevent the food from spoiling.

Direct additives are intentionally added to foods for a particular purpose. Indirect additives are added to the food during its processing, packaging and storage. Food Preservatives are the additives that are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts in the food. Some of the additives are manufactured from the natural sources such as corn, beet and soybean, while some are artificial, man-made additives.

Most people tend to eat the ready-made food available in the market, rather than preparing it at home. Such foods contain some kind of additives and preservatives, so that their quality and flavor is maintained and they are not spoiled by bacteria and yeasts.

More than 3000 additives and preservatives are available in the market, which are used as antioxidants and anti-microbial agents. Salt and sugar the most commonly used additives. Some of the commonly used food additives and preservatives are aluminum silicate, amino acid compounds, ammonium carbonates, sodium nitrate, propyl gallate, butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), monosodium glutamate, white sugar, potassium bromate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, etc.

Some artificial colors are also added to the foods to give them an appealing look. These coloring substances are erythrosine (red), cantaxanthin (orange), amaranth (Azoic red), tartrazine (Azoic yellow) and annatto bixine (yellow orange).

When the food is to be stored for a prolonged period, use of additives and preservatives is essential in order to maintain its quality and flavor. The excess water in the foods can cause the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Use of additives and preservatives prevents spoiling of the foods due to the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Additives and preservatives maintain the quality and consistency of the foods. They also maintain palatability and wholesomeness of the food, improve or maintain its nutritional value, control appropriate pH, provide leavening and color, and enhance its flavor. There are even foods products that are made entirely from chemicals. Coffee creamers, sugar substitutes, and candies consist almost completely of artificial ingredients.

Such manipulation of our food can have a profound effect on our body’s unique biochemical balance. When we need to store any food for a longer time, it should be properly processed. During this processing, some substances and chemicals, known as additives, are added to the food. Additives consistently maintain the high quality of foods.

Source : Food Additive, R. M. Pandey and S. K. Upadhyay, Division of Genetics, Plant breeding & Agrotechnology, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India

This page concern to food sciences, nutrition and additives topics. The information provides thorough and up-to-date information, covering a broad range of topics in the food science and technology. Topics covered include: Food industry, food groups and composition, food chemistry, food processing and preservation, food laws and regulations, food microbiology and fermentation, food safety, food toxicology, food biotechnology, sensory evaluation, and food product development.

OTHERS INFO: A lot of information about Easy Test Kit Product can you read detail at Easy Test Kit Website and a lot of information on the use of formalin (formaldehyde) in food or beverages in Indonesia (including some other hazardous materials) can read details on THIS BLOG.

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