Thursday, April 8, 2010

Food Additives

Food Additives
The use of food additives dates back to ancient times. Examples of these early additives are salt to preserve meats and fish, herbs and spices for seasoning foods, sugar to preserve fruits and vinegar vegetable.

Today manufacturers use more than 3,000 food additives.

A commonly used definition of a food additive is any substance added to a food either directly or indirectly though production, processing, storing or packaging.

Food additives serve a number of functions:

Preservatives to keep food fresh and to prevent spoilage.
This is important, as in our modern lifestyle; food is rarely eaten at the time or place it is produced. Calcium propionate inhibits molds and is often added to bread products for this purpose.

Nutrients to improve or maintain the nutritional quality of foods. Most salt contains iodine to prevent goiter a condition resulting for iodine deficiency.

Processing aids to maintain product texture such as retaining moisture, preventing lumping, or adding stability. Powdered foods such as cocoa contain silicon dioxide to prevent clumping when water is added.

Flavors to enhance or change the status or aroma of a food. These include spices, herbs, flavor enhancers, natural and synthetic flavors and sweeteners.

Colors to glove foods an appealing look. Many of the colors associated with foods are from added colorings, such a caramel to make cola drinks brown and annatto to make margarine yellow.

Food additives are derived from naturally occurring and synthetic materials. Scientist can now synthesize in the laboratory many additives that used to be derived from natural sib stance, creating a larger and cheaper supply.

Food additives allow us to enjoy safe, wholesome, tasty foods each year round without the inconvenience of growing our own foods or shopping daily. Convenience foods are made possible by the use of food additives.
Food Additives

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