Food ingredient additives can be simply explained as chemical compounds that are added to food. Many of these ingredients have been added to foods for decades and serve many different functions.
Without some of these additives many foods would not be considered edible. These added ingredients are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure they are labeled properly as well as safe for consumers to eat. There are strict standards that need to be followed before permitting the addition of any food additive to foods and beverages designated for consumption.
Some of these compounds everyone can identify with. There is dihydrogen oxide (H2O) which is just water or sodium chloride (NaCl) we all know as salt or sodium. Other additives are natural such as fructose that is found in many fruits and beta carotene which is derived from carrots that provide some heath benefits.
Preservatives are added to help maintain freshness, prevent spoilage and can actually reduce risks of foodborne illnesses. Spices, sweeteners, artificial and natural flavors are added solely to enhance the taste of many foods.
Leavening agents, stabilizers, emulsifiers and thickeners are added to provide smooth, light and airy textures to carious foods. Artificial colors may be added just to make foods more appealing to the eye.
See the attached list for more food additives and what foods they are commonly found in and the purposes they serve when added to foods and beverages.
© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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