16 January 2006

List of common food additives

Take a look at the most common food additives used, what their functions are and in which foods you can expect to find them.

Take a look at the most common food additives used, what their functions are and in which foods you can expect to find them:

Functions Additives used Examples of foods in which additives are used
To improve nutritional value of certain foods Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, ascorbic adic, potassium iodide Wheat, flour, bread, rolls, biscuits, breakfast cereals, macaroni and noodle products, cornmeal, margarine, milk, iodised salt
To maintain appearance, palatability, and wholesomeness in certain foods (delaying undesirable changes in foods caused by oxidation or microbial growth; preventing food spoilage caused by molds, bacteria, yeast) Propionic acid, calcium and sodium salts of propionic acid, ascorbic acid, butylated hyroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hyroxytoluene (BHT), propylene glycol Bread, pie filling, cake mixes, potato chips, crackers cheese, syrup, fruit juices, frozen and dried fruits, margarine, shortenings, lard
To enhance flavour of certain foods Spices (cloves, ginger, cinnamon etc.), citrus oils, amyl acetate, carvone, benzaldehyde, monosodium glutamate (MSG), vanilla Spice cake, gingerbread, ice cream, sweets, carbonated beverages, fruit-flavoured gelatins, toppings, sausage
To give charasteristic colour to certain foods Annatto, carotene, cochineal, chlorophyll nitrates Baked goods, sweets, carbonated beverages, cheese, margarine, ice cream, jams, jellies, meat products
To maintain desired consistency in foods (emulsifiers and stabilisers) Lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, gum arabic, carboxymethyl cellulose, carrageenan Bakery products, cake mixes, salad dressings, frozen desserts, ice cream, chocolate milk, sweets, beer
To control acidity or alkalinity in certain foods (leavening and neutralising agents) Potassium acid tartrate, tartaric acid, sodium bicarbonate, lactic acid, citric acid, adipic acid, fumaric acid Cakes, cookies, biscuits, crackers, waffles, muffins, butter, processed cheese, cheese spreads, chocolates, carbonated beverages, confectionery
To serve as maturing and bleaching agents Chlorine dioxide, chlorine, potassium bromate, iodate Wheat flour (to make it white), certain cheeses
To help retain moisture (humectants), prevent caking, or act as curing agents Glycerin, magnesium carbonate, sodium nitrate, calcium phosphate Coconut, marshmallows, table salt, garlic and onion powder, frankfurters, sausages, dietetic foods

Source: Krause's Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy (10th Edition, 2000)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.