The Truth About Food Additives
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 with wines. With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the twentieth century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin.
Food additives can be divided into several groups, although there is some overlap because some additives exert more than one effect. For example, salt is both a preservative as well as a flavor.
Acidulents confer sour or acid taste. Common acidulents include vinegar, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, and lactic acid. Acidity regulators are used for controlling the pH of foods for stability or to affect activity of enzymes. Anticaking agents keep powders such as milk powder from caking or sticking. Antifoaming agents reduce or prevent foaming in foods. Foaming agents do the reverse. Antioxidants such as vitamin C are preservatives by inhibiting the degradation of food by oxygen. Bulking agents such as starch are additives that increase the bulk of a food without affecting its taste. Food coloring are added to food to replace colors lost during preparation or to make food look more attractive.
Color retention agents In contrast to colorings, color retention agents are used to preserve a food’s existing color. Emulsifiers allow water and oils to remain mixed together in an emulsion, as in mayonnaise, ice cream, and homogenized milk. Flavors are additives that give food a particular taste or smell, and may be derived from natural ingredients or created artificially.
By:- Deeksha Semwal
Assistant Professor,Department of Agriculture
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College of Biomedical Sciences and Hospital