➢To identify the what are food additives.
➢To understand the reasons why food additives are
➢ To understand the different sources of food
➢To understand the different roles and functions of
food additives in food.
❧❧ Some of the food we eat are fresh. They are not processed.
❧ Most foods, however, are processed.
❧ In food processing , small amounts of certain chemicals are
❧ These are called food additives.
❧ Any substance that becomes part of a food product either
directly or indirectly during some phase of processing, storage
❧ Basically, a food additive is something that doesn’t normally
occur in the food we eat — it has to be added….
What are Food
❧In general various definitions have been given.
➢ According to WHO (1965), ‘Food
Protection Committee of the National
Academy of Sciences (1959)
‘It is a substance or mixture of substances, other than
the basic food stuff, which is present in food as a result of
any aspect of production, processing, storage or
packaging. This term does not include chance
‘Additives are not considered nutritional even if they have
some nutritive value.’
‘Means any substance not normally consumed as food
by itself and not normally used as a typical
ingredient of the food.’
The term does not include contaminants or substances
added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional
➢ Codex Alimentarius
❧❧ Unavoidable in the complex and integrated society in which we
live as the area of food production are separated from areas of
❧ In present degree of urbanization, its impossible to maintain
distribution network without adding preservatives.
❧ Great demand for convenience/ready to eat foods and heat and
❧ Essential to prevent rancidity of oils and for maintaining the shelf
life of high-moisture containing foods.
❧ Food additives must not be used to disguise faulty processing and
handling techniques to cheat customers.
Need for additive
Preservative These help in preservation of food by
increasing its storage life,
e.g. Preservative like sodium benzoate
Taste Food additives improves the taste or
appearance of any food product,
e.g. grazing agents on fruits.
Quality These improve the quality or stability
of the food,
e.g. humectants added to mixed dried
Colour & Flavour These provide the right colour and
improve the flavour,
e.g. commercially available colouring
➢ Uses and some of the
common functions food
❧➢ Foods are subjected to many environmental conditions, such as
temperature changes, oxidation and exposure to microbes,
which can change their original composition.
➢ Food additives play a key role in maintaining the food qualities
and characteristics that consumers demand,
keeping food safe, wholesome and
appealing from farm to fork.
Importance of food
Types of additives
Additives may be:
➢ Natural – found naturally, such as extracts from beetroot juice (E162),
used as a colouring agent;
➢ Manmade versions – synthetic identical copies of substances found
naturally, such as benzoic acid (E210), used as a preservative;
➢ Artificial – produced synthetically and not found naturally, such as
nisin (E234), used as a preservative in some dairy products and in
semolina and tapioca puddings.
❧ Some additives have been approved for use in the EU. These
additives have E-numbers.
❧ The E-numbers tells us “What the additive is used for”.
What is E-Number?
E 100-199 Food Colours
E 200-299 Preservatives
E 300-399 Antioxidants
E 400-499 Emulsifiers & Stabilisers
E 500-599 Anticaking agents
E 600-699 Flavourings & Flavour
❧ Prevent the growth of micro-organisms which could cause
food spoilage and lead to food poisoning.
❧ Extend the shelf-life of products, so that they can be
distributed and sold to the consumer with a longer shelf-
❧ Salting and sugaring are two of the oldest methods of
For example Meats are often treated with nitrite and nitrate
(E249 to E252) during the curing process.
❧ Prevent oxidative rancidity in foods high on fats and oils.
❧ Another important reason is that certain vitamins and various amino acids
can easily be destroyed by exposure to air, and antioxidants serve to protect
❧ Antioxidant types
❧ Water soluble (synergistic) type
❧ Fat soluble type
•Naturally occurring substances that act as antioxidants are tocopherols, but
they are rarely used as additives because they are more expensive than
•They are effective in low concentrations (0.01-0.02%)
•Mixed antioxidants sometimes act synergistically.
‘Mostly Antioxidants prevents the browning of cut fruits
,vegetables and fruit juices i.e. increase shelf life and
❧❧ Food colouring is added to foods to replace lost colours
during preparation, or to make foods look more attractive.
❧ In the USA there are seven artificial colourings that are
permitted in foods.
FD&C Blue No. 1- Brilliant Blue FCF
FD&C Blue No. 2- Indigotine
FD&C Green No. 3- Fast Green
FD&C Red No. 40- Allura Red AC
FD&C Red No. 3- Erythrosine
FD&C Yellow No. 5- Tartrazine
FD&C Yellow No.6- Sunset Yellow
➢ Restore colour lost during processing or storage.
➢ Ensure that each batch produced is identical in appearance or
does not appear ‘off’.
➢ Reinforces colour already in foods, e.g. enhance the yellowness
of a custard.
➢ Give colour to foods which otherwise would be colourless (e.g.
soft drinks) and so make them more attractive appetizing and
➢ To ensure colour consistency.
Why use Colour additives?
Would you like this soft drink if no artificial flavouring and
colouring had been added to it?
❧❧ Flavour enhancers bring out the flavour in foods without imparting a flavour
of their own, e.g. monosodium glutamate (E612) is added to processed
For example some soups, sauces and sausages.
❧ Natural flavor substances such as Spices and their extracts, herbs, roots,
essence and essential oils have been used.
❧ Flavors of the substance are not uniform as they vary with season and area
❧ Natural are now replaced by synthetic flavour materials. It includes esters,
aldehydes,ketones, alcohols and ethers, smoke flavors of glutamates
Monosodium glutamate is a white
solid. It possesses little flavor of its
own, but it can ‘bring out’ the flavor
of foods. It is therefore a flavor
WHY USE FOOD FLAVOURINGS?
∙ To enhance flavor of food
∙ To restore the original flavor which may be lost during food processing
∙ To add flavor to foods which are tasteless themselves (e.g. ice cream, jelly)
❧ Flavourings, on the other hand, are added to a wide range of
foods, usually in small amounts to give a particular taste.
❧ These do not have E numbers because they are controlled by
different food laws. Ingredients lists will say if flavourings have
been used, but individual flavourings might not be named.
❧ Anticaking agents are placed in powdered or
granulated foods to prevent them from caking or
❧ Some anticaking agents include sodium bicarbonate,
sodium ferrocyanice, and potassium ferrocyanide.
Sodium bicarbonate- It's a white solid that is crystalline,
but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly
salty taste, and can be found dissolved in many
mineral springs. Many people know it as baking soda.
‘Anti-caking agents ensure free movement or flow of
particles, e.g. in dried milk or table salt. ’
❧ Antifoaming agents reduce or prevent foaming in foods.
❧ These agents are included in many foods,
such as Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, and Sprite.
antifoaming agents are added to cooking oils
to prevent excessive frothing during deep frying.
There are many types of defoamers including oil based, water based,
silicone based, and EO/PO based.
Emulsifiers, stabilisers, gelling
➢ Emulsifiers- help mix ingredients together that would normally
separate, e.g. Lecithins (E322).
➢ Stabilisers- prevent ingredients from separating again, e.g. locust
bean gum (E410). Two e.g.s of stabilizers are agar and pectin.
➢ Gelling agents- are used to change the consistency of a food, e.g.
➢ Thickeners - are substances which, when added a mixture,
increases its viscosity with out substantially modifying its other
Its help give food body, e.g. can be found in most sauces.
➢ Glazing agents - provide a protective coating or sheen
on the surface of foods, e.g. confectionary (for appearance and
➢ Intense sweeteners, e.g. saccharin, have a sweetness many times that
of sugar and therefore are used in small amounts, e.g. in diet foods, soft
drinks, sweetening tablets;
➢ Bulk sweeteners, e.g. sorbitol, have a similar sweetness to sugar and are
used at similar levels.
‘If concentrated cordial drinks that contain sweeteners
are given to children between the ages of 6 months to 4
years, it is important to dilute them more than for adults.
Infants under 6 months should not be given cordial
❧ Food acids are added to make flavors "sharper", and also act
as preservatives and antioxidants. Common food acids include
vinegar, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, and
❧ Acids, bases and buffers control the acidity or
alkalinity of food, for safety and stability of
Acids, bases and buffers
Some additives that are found in processed
❧ Evaluate through comprehensive treating and scientific
❧ Chemical analyses measure the direct additives accurately in
❧ Variety of animal tests used to estimate the safety of a additive
in human diet.
❧ Also required studies on metabolism, genetic toxicity,
carcinogenicity and reproduction.
❧a) Only the additives which present no appreciable health risk to consumers
at the use level proposed by the JECFA shall be endorsed and included in
b) ADI, its probable daily intake from all food sources for special group
consumers (diabetic, medical diet, sick individual on formulated liquid diet)
will be taken into account
Food Additive Safety
c) The quantity of an additive should be at or below the maximum use
level and is at lowest level necessary to achieve the intended technical
d) It should be of food grade quality and is prepared and handled in
same way as a food ingredient.
e) Carry over of a food additive from a raw material to other ingredient is
unacceptable for foods such as infant formula, follow-up formulae and
formulae for special medical purposes, complementary foods for infants
and young children
Food Additive Safety
❧❧ Buy foods from reputable sources.
❧ Read the label of prepackaged food carefully in particular the ingredient list
for food additives added (if any) which you could accept.
❧ People with allergic condition, such as asthma patients, may experience
hypersensitive reaction due to some food additives like sulphur dioxide and
should be careful in selecting food. Advice from medical professionals may
be sought when necessary in Hazards of preservatives.
Advice to the public of food
❧ Food chemistry by Fennema 3rd edition, Page o 767.
❧ Food chemistry y H.K.chopra ( Introduction).
❧ www.food.gov.uk (E numbers).
❧ www.foodfactoflife.org.uk (types of additives)
❧ Food additives wikipedia.